Paul Blomfield Portrait

Paul Blomfield

Labour - Sheffield Central

Shadow Minister (International Trade) (Brexit and EU Negotiations)
10th Apr 2020 - 30th Dec 2020
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) (Brexit and EU Negotiations)
10th Apr 2020 - 30th Dec 2020
Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union)
9th Oct 2016 - 10th Apr 2020
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee
17th Oct 2016 - 31st Oct 2016
Education, Skills and the Economy Sub-Committee
1st Dec 2015 - 31st Oct 2016
Business, Innovation and Skills Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 17th Oct 2016
Business, Innovation and Skills Committee
2nd Nov 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Able Marine Energy Park Development Consent Order 2014
17th Jun 2014 - 30th Oct 2014
Able Marine Energy Park Development Consent Order 2014
11th Jun 2014 - 30th Oct 2014


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
09:25
Nationality and Borders Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
26 Oct 2021, 9:25 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
14:00
Nationality and Borders Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
26 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
11:30
Nationality and Borders Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 11:30 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
14:00
Nationality and Borders Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Division Votes
Friday 22nd October 2021
Prayers
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 114 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 3 Noes - 336
Speeches
Thursday 21st October 2021
Nationality and Borders Bill (Seventh sitting)

I am grateful to the Minister for giving way. He talked again about the UK’s leading role in accepting refugees. …

Written Answers
Friday 22nd October 2021
Immigration: EU Nationals
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce the administrative requirements …
Early Day Motions
Monday 13th January 2020
Young Carers Awareness Day
That this House supports Young Carers Awareness Day, led by Carers Trust, which takes place on 30 January 2020; recognises …
Bills
Wednesday 19th June 2013
High Cost Credit Bill 2013-14
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
None available
EDM signed
Monday 18th October 2021
Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; …
Supported Legislation
House of Lords (Exclusion of Hereditary Peers) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Paul Blomfield has voted in 255 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Paul Blomfield 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
Michael Gove (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
(18 debate interactions)
Tom Pursglove (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
(12 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(10 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(37 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(29 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(16 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Paul Blomfield's debates

Sheffield Central Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Sheffield Central signature proportion
Petitions with most Sheffield Central signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The government should consider delaying negotiations so they can concentrate on the coronavirus situation and reduce travel of both EU and UK negotiators. This would necessitate extending the transition period; as there can only be a one off extension, this should be for two years.


Latest EDMs signed by Paul Blomfield

23rd September 2021
Paul Blomfield signed this EDM on Monday 18th October 2021

Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall

Tabled by: Afzal Khan (Labour - Manchester, Gorton)
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; notes that this memorial now includes over 150,000 hand-painted hearts to symbolise all those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic; praises the work of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for …
72 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 45
Scottish National Party: 9
Liberal Democrat: 9
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Conservative: 2
Green Party: 1
Independent: 1
6th September 2021
Paul Blomfield signed this EDM on Wednesday 22nd September 2021

Deregulated bus transport

Tabled by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
That this House is concerned with the adequacy of deregulated bus services in England outside London; notes the near unanimous consensus that the current system is not delivering for passengers and the multitude of reports finding as such; further notes that in England alone, average fares have increased 403 percent …
47 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 37
Liberal Democrat: 5
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Independent: 1
Green Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
View All Paul Blomfield's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Paul Blomfield, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Paul Blomfield

Tuesday 29th June 2021

Paul Blomfield has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Paul Blomfield


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for regulating high-cost credit arrangements and providers of such arrangements; to provide for controls on advertising, information and communications associated with such arrangements; to make measures to address the cost and affordability of such credit arrangements and their associated charges; to regulate matters concerning repayments under such arrangements; to make provision on advice and advice services in relation to debt arising from such arrangements; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 12th July 2013

286 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
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what data his Department holds on potential climate-related migration to the UK as a result of global climate change.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2021
What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on support for manufacturers that are subject to non-tariff barriers to trade with the EU.

As has been the case under successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent steps he has taken to simplify trading arrangements between the UK and the EU.

I refer the Hon Members to the answers given in Cabinet Office orals on 11 February. Guidance and published information are available on gov.uk.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his oral statement on 13 July 2020, Official Report, column 1271, on what date was that legal advice presented to his Department.

In keeping with long-standing convention and practice, details of legal advice are not disclosed.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK maintains access the EU’s RescEU stockpile of (a) ventilators (b) protective masks and (c) other related equipment after the end of the transition period.

The Government is committed to ensuring the UK remains a global leader in life sciences and continues to collaborate with European and other countries on scientific research. At the end of the UK transition period, clinical trials will continue to be approved at a national level, working to international standards as they are now. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) along with partners in the UK healthcare system, has taken steps to ensure that all trials, including multinational trials, can continue. The UK is collaborating extensively with international partners in the research effort against COVID-19 and we will continue to do so after the end of the UK transition period.

The UK’s approach to the future relationship negotiations sets out our ambition to reach an agreement that would facilitate trade in medicinal products. However, any responsible Government has a duty to prepare for all scenarios and have robust contingency plans in place. We continue to hold stockpiles to cope with a range of scenarios.

We are doing everything we can to ensure our health and social care staff have the equipment they need to tackle Covid-19 virus. Sourcing sufficient PPE is an international challenge and we are working with many international partners, including the EU. In terms of ventilators, as a result of the Ventilator Challenge the NHS has significantly increased supply.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK-EU future relationship enables UK participation in EU-funded multinational (a) clinical trials and (b) research collaborations on (i) covid-19 treatments and (ii) other medicines after the end of the transition period.

The Government is committed to ensuring the UK remains a global leader in life sciences and continues to collaborate with European and other countries on scientific research. At the end of the UK transition period, clinical trials will continue to be approved at a national level, working to international standards as they are now. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) along with partners in the UK healthcare system, has taken steps to ensure that all trials, including multinational trials, can continue. The UK is collaborating extensively with international partners in the research effort against COVID-19 and we will continue to do so after the end of the UK transition period.

The UK’s approach to the future relationship negotiations sets out our ambition to reach an agreement that would facilitate trade in medicinal products. However, any responsible Government has a duty to prepare for all scenarios and have robust contingency plans in place. We continue to hold stockpiles to cope with a range of scenarios.

We are doing everything we can to ensure our health and social care staff have the equipment they need to tackle Covid-19 virus. Sourcing sufficient PPE is an international challenge and we are working with many international partners, including the EU. In terms of ventilators, as a result of the Ventilator Challenge the NHS has significantly increased supply.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 55054, what indicators his Department plans to use to determine whether to lift covid-19 lockdown restrictions on marriages.

As set out in ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’, any adjustments to current social distancing controls for England will be timed carefully according to both the current transmission rate of the virus and the Government’s ability to ensure safety. The steps for modifying social distancing measures are set out in the plan, with strict conditions to safely move from each step to the next.

In the strategy, we committed to exploring how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings. We are actively looking at how we can facilitate small weddings, as soon as possible, to deliver the roadmap.

Step Three of the plan also includes the ambition to open at least some places of worship, including the potential for some small wedding ceremonies. The Government’s current planning assumption is that this step will be no earlier than 4 July, subject to the five tests for easing measures and further detailed scientific advice provided closer to the time, on how far we can go.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of economically inactive people in the UK are classified as (a) students, (b) unable to work due to sickness, (c) looking after homes, (d) caring for family members and (d) retired.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office, what assessment she has made of the reason that people who are economically inactive and are not (a) students, (b) unable to work due to sickness, (c) looking after homes or caring for family members and (b) retired are not actively looking for work.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support jobs at the Rolls Royce Advanced Blade Casting Facility at the Advanced Manufacturing Park.

The Government’s extensive business support measures such as job retention CBILs, and Bounce Back loans have helped companies protect work and jobs in the UK. The aerospace industry and its aviation customers are being supported with around £11bn made available through loan guarantees, support for exporters, the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, and grants for research and development.

Rolls-Royce has made clear that the restructuring reflects the change in medium-term market conditions which have been impacted by the global COVID19 pandemic and is about the survival of the company and securing its long-term, sustainable future.

Rolls-Royce has reopened a voluntary severance scheme and has offered impacted staff job opportunities at alternative sites in the area. If necessary, the Government will work with Rolls-Royce to make sure that those who lose their jobs are supported, and to help them get back into alternative employment as quickly as possible, particularly through the services of DWP and Job Centre Plus.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on the sustainability of sourcing minerals for batteries in countries where human rights abuses are taking place.

There have been no such discussions.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business. Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) effect of new visa arrangements on the ability of self-employed people to conduct business in the EU and (b) estimated cost of such requirements to the self-employed working in the EU in 2021.

While freedom of movement between the UK and the EU has ended, the UK-EU Trade & Co-operation Agreement (TCA) contains provisions on the entry and temporary stay of natural persons for business purposes (Mode IV). This includes self-employed professionals.

The TCA ensures that both parties offer a minimum standard of treatment for this type of professional, such as guaranteed lengths of stay of up to 12 months (subject to Member State reservations), and transparency and procedural facilitation measures where visas or work permits are required by a destination country.

The TCA also guarantees market access to key economic sectors (subject to Member State reservations), including for the self-employed, and eases some burdens on business travellers, such as: removing the need for work permits for some short-term business activities, and reducing the number of economic needs tests a country could impose to block access to exporters.

Taken together, these measures will help self-employed professionals to continue providing services in the EU and the UK. Requirements for visas and work permits, including costs, vary depending on Member State, and on the activity being performed. Those looking to work in the EU should check with their host state’s entry and stay requirements before travelling.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of new immigration rules for UK nationals seeking seasonal work outside tourism in the EU.

Seasonal work is not a category normally featured in free trade agreements. However, temporary work routes were negotiated in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), as featured in the chapter on entry and temporary stay. These include: short-term business visitors; intra-company transferees; and those providing services under contract, whether as an employee or a self-employed professional.

The contractual service suppliers and independent (self-employed) professionals categories are most likely to offer appropriate routes to seasonal workers. The TCA ensures both the UK and the EU offer length of stays of up to 12 months (with a limited number of exceptions in some Member States) and guarantees market access for a range of economic sectors, subject to qualification requirements and Member State reservations. Specifically, our agreement with the EU includes sectoral coverage for contractual services suppliers who provide tourist guides services, and travel agency and tour operator services. This mirrors commitments taken by the UK in our recent trade deal with Japan.

The TCA also eases some burdens on business travellers, such as: removing the need for work permits for some short-term trips, and reducing the number of economic needs tests a country could impose to block access to exporters, which will also help seasonal workers.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many staff the Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate (a) employed in 2019-20 and (b) employs in 2020-21; and how many of those staff were dedicated to working in Scotland in each of those years.

The Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate had 28 staff in post on 31st March 2020 and 22 on 31st December 2020. A recruitment campaign is currently being undertaken to fill the vacant positions. Staff are not allocated to a dedicated location and will deal with casework that covers all of Great Britain.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish his proposals on a state aid regime to be implemented after the end of the transition period.

On 9th September 2020, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State made a Written Ministerial Statement on the future plans for subsidy control. This can be found here.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to publish the gambling review.

The Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched in December last year with the publication of a wide-ranging Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions. We are considering all the evidence we received carefully. The government aims to publish a White Paper setting out any conclusions and consulting on next steps by the end of the year.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have had with (i) broadcasters and (ii) sport organisations on placing trigger warnings on gambling advertising during sport broadcasts.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Gambling operators advertising in the UK must abide by the advertising codes issued by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) for online and non-broadcast spaces and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) for TV and radio. The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising additionally mandates that a safer gambling message must appear on screen throughout all televised adverts, along with the inclusion of the address begambleaware.org (which signposts to a wide range of advice and support related to gambling). The Industry Code also requires safer gambling messages in all radio adverts.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and the effectiveness of mandatory safer gambling messages in adverts in preventing harm. The Call for Evidence closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals, including broadcasters, sporting bodies and individuals and organisations representing those with lived experience of gambling-related harm. We are considering all the evidence received carefully and aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year outlining our conclusions and policy proposals.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of adding trigger warnings to gambling advertising during sport broadcasts.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Gambling operators advertising in the UK must abide by the advertising codes issued by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) for online and non-broadcast spaces and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) for TV and radio. The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising additionally mandates that a safer gambling message must appear on screen throughout all televised adverts, along with the inclusion of the address begambleaware.org (which signposts to a wide range of advice and support related to gambling). The Industry Code also requires safer gambling messages in all radio adverts.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and the effectiveness of mandatory safer gambling messages in adverts in preventing harm. The Call for Evidence closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals, including broadcasters, sporting bodies and individuals and organisations representing those with lived experience of gambling-related harm. We are considering all the evidence received carefully and aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year outlining our conclusions and policy proposals.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have had with people who have been harmed by gambling on the value of trigger warnings on broadcast gambling advertising.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Gambling operators advertising in the UK must abide by the advertising codes issued by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) for online and non-broadcast spaces and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) for TV and radio. The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising additionally mandates that a safer gambling message must appear on screen throughout all televised adverts, along with the inclusion of the address begambleaware.org (which signposts to a wide range of advice and support related to gambling). The Industry Code also requires safer gambling messages in all radio adverts.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and the effectiveness of mandatory safer gambling messages in adverts in preventing harm. The Call for Evidence closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals, including broadcasters, sporting bodies and individuals and organisations representing those with lived experience of gambling-related harm. We are considering all the evidence received carefully and aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year outlining our conclusions and policy proposals.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason the revised guidance on amateur choir-singing does not take into consideration the recommendations in the SO695 paper commissioned by Government that choir-singing can be made safer with restrictions including (a) practising in spaces with adequate ventilation and (b) 2m social distancing.

I know that the restrictions on singing are frustrating to large numbers of amateur choirs and performance groups across the country and that many people have made sacrifices in order to drive down infections and protect the NHS over the last year. I can assure you that everyone across the government wants to ease these restrictions as soon as possible.

However, it is important that we take a cautious approach in easing restrictions. We have followed the views of public health experts on singing. We are aware, through the NERVTAG and PERFORM studies that singing can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the spread of aerosol droplets. This was backed up by a consensus statement from SAGE, resulting in the suggested principles of safer singing being published.


We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what directions he has issued to the Advertising Standards Authority on limiting the number of children that are exposed to gambling advertising.

The Advertising Standards Authority is an independent body. The Government works closely with them across a wide range of areas, including gambling advertising.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Adverts must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Advertising Standards Authority independently administers these standards through the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) which covers online and non-broadcast spaces and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) for TV. If an advert for gambling holds particular appeal to children and is freely accessible then it will break the rules.

The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) recently concluded a consultation on proposals to amend their advertising codes to further limit the potential for gambling adverts to appeal to children. The broadcast advertising codes make clear that adverts for commercial gambling must not be shown during or adjacent to television programmes directed at or likely to appeal particularly to children.

The Industry Code for Socially Responsible Gambling Advertising also prohibits gambling advertising on television before 9pm, except for adverts promoting bingo or lotteries, and sports betting in limited circumstances (not immediately around or during live sport).

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the recent collapse of Football Index, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of creating a Gambling Ombudsman.

The government is taking the collapse of Football Index and the concerns of those affected by it very seriously, and the Secretary of State and I have met the Gambling Commission to receive urgent updates. We are particularly keen to understand both how this situation came about and what lessons we can learn from these events. Further details will be provided in due course.

DCMS officials were made aware of the challenges facing Football Index in March 2021 shortly before the Gambling Commission suspended the licence of BetIndex Ltd, the operator of Football Index. The Gambling Commission’s regulatory investigation is ongoing. While we have been in close contact with the Commission as it continues its investigation, its role as set out in the Gambling Act is to conduct investigations fully independent of Government. It is not for the government to direct independent regulatory bodies on individual cases.

Our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 is considering a range of questions around the regulation of gambling, including the powers and resources of the Commission and whether any changes to the legislation are required to make it fit for the digital age. The review will also consider whether an alternative system of consumer redress, such as an ombudsman, is needed. Our call for evidence closed on 31 March and we are carefully considering the responses received.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of launching an inquiry into the collapse of Football Index.

The government is taking the collapse of Football Index and the concerns of those affected by it very seriously, and the Secretary of State and I have met the Gambling Commission to receive urgent updates. We are particularly keen to understand both how this situation came about and what lessons we can learn from these events. Further details will be provided in due course.

DCMS officials were made aware of the challenges facing Football Index in March 2021 shortly before the Gambling Commission suspended the licence of BetIndex Ltd, the operator of Football Index. The Gambling Commission’s regulatory investigation is ongoing. While we have been in close contact with the Commission as it continues its investigation, its role as set out in the Gambling Act is to conduct investigations fully independent of Government. It is not for the government to direct independent regulatory bodies on individual cases.

Our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 is considering a range of questions around the regulation of gambling, including the powers and resources of the Commission and whether any changes to the legislation are required to make it fit for the digital age. The review will also consider whether an alternative system of consumer redress, such as an ombudsman, is needed. Our call for evidence closed on 31 March and we are carefully considering the responses received.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government has taken to support football clubs to develop alternative commercial opportunities to gambling advertising and sponsorship.

The government currently has no plans to introduce a requirement for gambling operators to pay a fee or levy to sports clubs and has not had discussions with football clubs about developing commercial opportunities.

The Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the broad scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements across sports, esports and other areas. The Call for Evidence will remain open until 31 March, and no policy decisions have yet been made. We intend to set out conclusions, including any proposals for change, in a white paper later this year.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing a levy on the gambling industry to fund football.

The government currently has no plans to introduce a requirement for gambling operators to pay a fee or levy to sports clubs and has not had discussions with football clubs about developing commercial opportunities.

The Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the broad scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements across sports, esports and other areas. The Call for Evidence will remain open until 31 March, and no policy decisions have yet been made. We intend to set out conclusions, including any proposals for change, in a white paper later this year.

4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on (a) problem gamblers and (b) children of gambling advertising on daytime TV.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Adverts must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people, and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) recently concluded a consultation on proposals to amend the advertising codes to further limit the potential for adverts to appeal to these groups. The broadcast advertising codes make clear that adverts for commercial gambling must not be shown during or adjacent to television programmes directed at or likely to appeal particularly to children. In addition, the Industry Code for Socially Responsible Gambling Advertising prohibits gambling advertising on television before 9pm, except for adverts promoting bingo or lotteries, and sports betting in limited circumstances (not immediately around or during live sport).

The government is not aware of specific evidence on the effect of gambling advertising broadcast on television during the day. However, in March 2020 the charity GambleAware published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young people and vulnerable people. That study found that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble. It also found that there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups, including peer and parental gambling. Among vulnerable adults, the study found some evidence that problem or heavy gamblers were more likely to report that marketing had prompted them to place a bet or open a new account. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to advertising and the development of problem gambling in childhood or later life.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the scale of black market gambling throughout the country.

Data released by the Gambling Commission in May 2020 on the black market suggested that the scale of the black market had remained low and stable, with little variation in the number of complaints it had received about illegal gambling websites over the previous 12 months. The Commission continues to monitor this area closely and take action against unlicensed operators where needed.

However, new technologies have the potential to increase the risk posed by illegal unlicensed operators, so it is important that we improve our understanding of these risks and the exact scale of the black market. That is why our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 will consider issues around black market gambling as part of its wide scope, and we have called for evidence on the extent of the black market, its accessibility to consumers, and the risk of one emerging in the future. We have also launched our consultation proposing an uplift to industry licence fees, which will provide the Commission with greater capacity in the short to medium term to investigate and tackle the threat caused by the black market.

The Call for Evidence will be open until 31 March 2021, and further details, including how to make a contribution, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on establishing an alternative to Creative Europe.

This Government recognises the great value of the UK’s arts and cultural sectors. We have provided £1.57bn through the Cultural Recovery Fund, ensuring record breaking support is available to support the cultural sector through the COVID-19 crisis.

The Government decided not to seek continued participation in the Creative Europe programme as part of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU but to look at other ways of supporting the UK’s arts and cultural sectors. The Spending Review announced £7m in funding for a pilot year of the Global Screen Fund. The Fund will support the UK independent screen sector, in particular UK independent film content, to remain competitive in the international market and help ensure the continued stability of the independent screen sector as a whole.

We understand the role international cultural partnerships and networking play in driving forwards the very best in leading contemporary practice. The Government will continue to assess the needs of the sector through the continued impacts of COVID-19 and in establishing our place on the world stage outside of the European Union.

13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to replace funding from Creative Europe provided to the UK creative industries.

This Government recognises the great value of the UK’s arts and cultural sectors. We have provided £1.57bn through the Cultural Recovery Fund, ensuring record breaking support is available to support the cultural sector through the COVID-19 crisis.

The Government decided not to seek continued participation in the Creative Europe programme as part of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU but to look at other ways of supporting the UK’s arts and cultural sectors. The Spending Review announced £7m in funding for a pilot year of the Global Screen Fund. The Fund will support the UK independent screen sector, in particular UK independent film content, to remain competitive in the international market and help ensure the continued stability of the independent screen sector as a whole.

We understand the role international cultural partnerships and networking play in driving forwards the very best in leading contemporary practice. The Government will continue to assess the needs of the sector through the continued impacts of COVID-19 and in establishing our place on the world stage outside of the European Union.

13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on improving the movement rights of musicians and performers to work in the EU.

Ministers have regular discussions with their Cabinet Colleagues on a wide range of issues, including cross-border labour mobility with the EU for musicians and other creative professionals.

The Government recognises the importance of touring for UK musicians and other cultural and creative practitioners, and their support staff. Officials from across government engaged with the performing arts sector extensively throughout negotiations. That engagement has continued since the announcement of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement to ensure they are aware of new requirements. Going forward, we will continue our close dialogue with the creative and cultural sectors to ensure they have the support they need to thrive.

Oliver Dowden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the print industry; and what support he is providing to that sector.

We appreciate that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to many of DCMS’ sectors including the publishing industries. Through regular ministerial-led roundtables, working groups and contact with DCMS officials, we will continue to work with the publishing sector to assess and understand the difficulties it faces in these challenging times and through recovery.

The Government has provided unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. The Government’s response has been one of the most generous and comprehensive in the world, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Bounceback Loan Scheme and business rates reliefs. The publishing sector has also benefited from the government's introduction of a zero rate of VAT to e-publications, which will make it clear e-publications are entitled to the same VAT treatment as their physical counterparts.

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

12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support his Department plans to provide to UK musicians touring in the EU after the end of the transition period.

The Government is continuing to engage with the creative sectors to ensure that freelancers, organisations and businesses know what they need to do to prepare for changes at the end of the transition period.

On 1st September 2020, the Government launched a comprehensive communications campaign to help the UK prepare for the end of the transition period. This includes guidance on customs and mobility procedures important to professionals in the live music industry, including freelance musicians and touring artists. My department will continue to engage with the music sector on the specific issues they may face.

12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in EU countries on protecting and supporting UK musicians touring the EU after the end of the transition period.

The Government recognises the importance of touring for UK musicians. We are seeking a reciprocal agreement with the EU that could allow UK citizens to undertake some business activities in the EU without a work permit, on a short-term basis. We are unable to comment on the detail of these arrangements as discussions are ongoing.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the answer of 13 May 2020 to Question 41511 on Gambling: Video Games, when he plans to publish a response to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s Report on Immersive and Addictive Technologies.

The government’s response to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s Report on Immersive and Addictive Technologies was published on 8th June. Copies were placed in the libraries of the House, and it is also available on gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-digital-culture-media-sport-select-committee-report-on-immersive-and-addictive-technologies

Our response includes a commitment to launch a call for evidence on loot boxes and to lead work on developing a framework to support future independent research on video games’ impacts on behaviour.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what percentage of higher education student premium funding was spent on improving (a) access and (b) graduate support in each of the last 10 years.

Student premium funding forms part of the Strategic Priorities Grant allocated to higher education (HE) providers by the Office for Students (OfS). HE providers are autonomous institutions, as prescribed under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, independent from government, and we do not collect data on how student premium funding is spent.

All HE providers wishing to charge tuition fees above the basic fee level (£6,000+) and to be eligible for funding from the Strategic Priorities Grant must agree an access and participation plan with the OfS, setting out their targets and planned expenditure to improve access and participation based on their priorities, and the gaps they need to address for their own institution. The OfS requires a robust evaluation strategy to be in place and for HE providers to publish reports showing the impact of their access and participation activities and expenditure.

Through their access and participation plans, providers deliver a range of activity such as schools outreach, attainment-raising activity, summer schools, financial support, and support targeted at key groups such as care leavers. The OfS cannot set targets or define activity - it is has a statutory duty to protect institutional autonomy over admissions and academic freedom.

Individual provider access and participation plans are published and can be found on the OfS website here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/the-register/search-for-access-and-participation-plans/#/AccessPlans/.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date all university students will be able to return to campus and resume in-person teaching during the covid-19 outbreak.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 March 2021 to Question 168889, on GCE A-level and GCSE: Assessments, what specific guidance his Department has issued to schools and colleges on taking into account the mitigating circumstances faced by young carers when determining GCSE and A level grades.

The Department is committed to ensuring that all those who were due to take exams in 2021 have the best possible chance to show what they know and can do, enabling them to progress to the next stage of their education, training, or employment, no matter their background.

Following the Department’s response on 23 March 2021, the Joint Council for Qualifications has published guidance on the determination of grades in Summer 2021: https://www.jcq.org.uk/summer-2021-arrangements/. As the guidance states, the range of evidence teachers can use to determine the grades of their pupils is flexible and they should only be assessed on what they have been taught.

Mitigating circumstances and access to reasonable adjustments should be taken into account by teachers when deciding which evidence to use, with flexibility to substitute or discount evidence. Where a pupil’s performance in assessments is impaired through an event outside of the pupil’s control and may have affected their performance in assessments which will be used to determine a grade, this should be taken into account by teachers. Centres must be satisfied that the issue or event has had, or is reasonably likely to have had, a material effect on a pupil’s ability to demonstrate their normal level of attainment in an assessment. Pupils must be reminded to raise any mitigating circumstances which warrant special consideration as soon as possible, ideally at the time of the assessment and prior to the submission of the teacher assessed grade.

We want to make sure that young carers get the support they need and are able to take advantage of opportunities beyond their caring responsibilities. The 'Schools Coronavirus (COVID-19) Operational Guidance' recognises that some young people, including some young carers, might feel anxious about attending school. The Government has published guidance for both schools and local authorities on how best to support families and protect vulnerable children during COVID-19, alongside guidance for young people with caring responsibilities, which includes information on how and where they can get help and support.

We remain committed to supporting young carers, and will continue to work closely with schools, stakeholders, care organisations and the wider sector. The Government continues to fund projects to support vulnerable children and young people whose usual support networks have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, including young carers as a target group. The provision includes a range of support, including online counselling and helping children and young people stay connected with school.

29th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to replace the youth international volunteering opportunities that were part of Erasmus+ and are not covered in the Turing Scheme.

International opportunities for young people (outside of formal education settings such as schools, colleges and universities) are being considered as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport-led Youth Review. The review was commissioned by Her Majesty's Treasury at the 2020 Spending Review. Future funding is subject to decisions at the next Spending Review.

The Turing Scheme is an international education mobility scheme, providing funding for around 35,000 students in universities, colleges and schools to study or gain work experience overseas, starting in September 2021. The Turing scheme is truly global, with every country in the world eligible to partner with UK educational providers. The new scheme will seek to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas which did not previously have many students benefiting from Erasmus+, making life-changing opportunities accessible to everyone across the country.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what advice he is giving to schools and colleges on taking account of caring responsibilities of their students when determining GCSE and A Level grades in summer 2021.

The Department will do whatever it can to make sure no child, whatever their background or location, falls behind as a result of COVID-19. We know that young carers may be particularly vulnerable during this time and ensuring that vulnerable children and young people remain protected is our top priority.

Given the ongoing disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, we announced in January 2021 that GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead as planned this summer. The interests of pupils are at the core of our recommendations. Our priority is to ensure all those due to take exams in 2021 have the best possible chance to show what they know and can do, enabling them to progress to the next stage of their education, training or employment.

Teachers have the flexibility to use a range of evidence, including the use of optional questions provided by exam boards, mock exams, non-examined assessment coursework, or in-class tests set by the school which align closely with the awarding organisation’s specification for the qualification. Teachers can draw from a range of evidence from across the duration of the pupil’s course, to determine their grade and work produced outside of the school or college environment, for example at home, can be included as evidence to support a teacher’s judgement.

We know there has been differential education loss, as some pupils have suffered more disruption to their education than others. Because of this, pupils will only be assessed on the content they have been taught.

We have also been clear that mitigating circumstances and pupils who are entitled to reasonable adjustments should be taken into account by teachers when deciding which evidence to use, with flexibility to substitute or discount evidence.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2021 to Question 137193, when the Turing Scheme will be open for applications.

We will be launching a website with more information on the Turing Scheme and setting out the application process in the coming weeks, for mobilities to start in September 2021.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to (a) replace opportunities for students from the EU to study and train in the UK and (b) extend those opportunities to other countries after the UK’s withdrawal from the Erasmus+ programme.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the 2014-2020 Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes. This means that the projects successfully bid for during the current programmes will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period.

The government has decided that it is not in the UK's interests to seek continuing participation in the next Erasmus+ programme. Instead, the UK is introducing a new international educational exchange scheme that has a genuinely global reach. Under the Turing scheme, UK universities, colleges and schools will be able to bid for funding to enable their students to travel abroad for study and work placements starting in September 2021 – for any of their students, regardless of nationality.

UK institutions are already speaking to their European counterparts to ensure they maintain and build upon their strong relationships. The government will support this engagement while also working to directly promote the Turing scheme overseas through government-to-government engagement.

The UK is a world-leading destination for study and research, with four universities in the world’s top 10, and 18 in the top 100. The UK is currently second only to the USA as a destination for international higher education students with approximately 486,000 students from abroad. We have considerable appeal as a destination and partner in international mobilities and exchanges, not just within the EU but across the world. Through our planned update to the International Education Strategy, and measures such as the new Graduate Route, we intend to build on this global reputation.

We will soon be launching the website and announcing the bidding process for mobilities to start in September 2021.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the the Turing Scheme will be open for applications.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the 2014-2020 Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes. This means that the projects successfully bid for during the current programmes will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period.

The government has decided that it is not in the UK's interests to seek continuing participation in the next Erasmus+ programme. Instead, the UK is introducing a new international educational exchange scheme that has a genuinely global reach. Under the Turing scheme, UK universities, colleges and schools will be able to bid for funding to enable their students to travel abroad for study and work placements starting in September 2021 – for any of their students, regardless of nationality.

UK institutions are already speaking to their European counterparts to ensure they maintain and build upon their strong relationships. The government will support this engagement while also working to directly promote the Turing scheme overseas through government-to-government engagement.

The UK is a world-leading destination for study and research, with four universities in the world’s top 10, and 18 in the top 100. The UK is currently second only to the USA as a destination for international higher education students with approximately 486,000 students from abroad. We have considerable appeal as a destination and partner in international mobilities and exchanges, not just within the EU but across the world. Through our planned update to the International Education Strategy, and measures such as the new Graduate Route, we intend to build on this global reputation.

We will soon be launching the website and announcing the bidding process for mobilities to start in September 2021.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the additional costs incurred by schools as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Ministers and officials continue to engage regularly with school leaders and their representatives on a wide range of issues around COVID-19, including discussions in relation to costs faced by schools at this time.

Schools have continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in the 2020-21 financial year, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20. This increase in funding will help schools with costs associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department has announced a new COVID-19 workforce fund for schools and colleges to help them to remain open. It will fund the costs of teacher absences over a threshold in schools and colleges with high staff absences that are also facing significant financial pressures. Guidance on the claims process will be published shortly so schools and colleges have confidence in the costs they can incur and be eligible to reclaim.

Schools have already received payments of £102 million for exceptional costs during the summer months, and there will be a further opportunity later in the year for schools to claim for any costs that fell between March and July in the same approved categories, for which they did not claim during the first window.

To support schools in making up for lost teaching time, there is a £1 billion catch up package for schools, which includes a universal £650 million ‘Catch Up Premium’. Our expectation is that this funding will be spent on the additional activities required to support children and young people to catch up after a period of disruption to their education. Alongside this, the catch up package includes the National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged 5 to 16 year old pupils. This scheme will provide additional, targeted support for disadvantaged pupils who need the most help to catch up.

The Department has also provided support for schools to deliver remote education. In October 2020, the Department announced a support package to help schools meet the remote education expectations set out in the schools guidance for full opening, including access to the right technology to deliver remote education, as well as curriculum guidance and resources. As part of over £195 million invested to support access to remote education and online social care, over 340,000 laptops and tablets are being made available this term to support disadvantaged children in Years 3 to 11 whose face to face education may be disrupted. Since September 2020, over 100,000 of these have been delivered to schools.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether EEA nationals aged 16 to 19 will be eligible to apply for funding from his Department for (a) higher education and (b) apprenticeships after August 2021.

We have agreed with the EU that current EU principles of equal treatment will continue to apply for those covered by the citizens’ rights provisions in the EU Withdrawal Agreement and the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement. This means that EU nationals resident in the UK (and UK nationals resident in the EU), before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, will be eligible for support on a similar basis to domestic students in the relevant host state.

EU and other EEA nationals not in the scope of the citizens’ rights protections will not be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in the academic year 2021/22. This change will also apply to further education funding for those aged 19 and above. It will not affect students starting courses in the academic year 2020/21. This will not apply to students from Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

From August 2021, EU and other EEA citizens, and their family members, as well as non-EEA citizens, will be eligible for apprenticeship funding in England if they have permission to live and work in the UK and meet the residency eligibility criteria in place at the time, which will be set out in the funding rules for the academic year 2021/22.

EEA students, staff and researchers make an important contribution to our universities. The government wants that contribution to continue and is confident – given the world-leading quality of our higher education sector – that it will.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the Minister for Universities plans to respond to the letter from the hon Member for Sheffield Central dated 27 March 2020 on support for students.

The department received the letter from the hon Member for Sheffield Central on 2 April 2020.

The department takes the concerns raised by the hon Member seriously and is in the process of drafting a response which will address the concerns raised. This will be sent out to the hon Member in due course.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on school pupils’ performance and wellbeing of financial stress in their families.

The Government recognises that, for many complex reasons, economic disadvantage can have an adverse effect on pupil attainment and wellbeing.

Through the pupil premium, the Department has spent more than £18 billion since 2011, including £2.4 billion in 2019-20, to tackle educational inequality. We established the Education Endowment Fund with £137 million to research and promote the most effective ways of using pupil premium funding so that all schools can make a difference to the futures of their disadvantaged pupils. Since 2011, the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has decreased at both ages 11 and 16.

The Department has taken a range of actions to help schools support the mental wellbeing of their pupils. This includes teaching pupils about mental wellbeing through the introduction of health education and improving collaboration with external agencies to ensure those pupils that need specialist support and treatment get it quickly. New Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) will be established in 20% to 25% of the country by 2023, supporting children and young people with mild to moderate mental health issues, and helping those with more severe needs to access the right specialist services locally. MHSTs should be delivered in a way to take account of disadvantage and seek to reduce health inequalities. We will also fund training for senior mental health leads in every state funded school and college in England, providing the skills and knowledge required to put in place effective whole school and college approaches to promote and support good mental health. We also have several initiatives in place to further support schools to develop and implement whole school approaches to mental health and wellbeing.

10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on demand for UK university places from EU students of the UK leaving the EU.

EU and non-EU students make an invaluable contribution to the UK’s higher education sector, socially, culturally and financially. This is why the UK Government will continue to welcome international students, working towards the ambition set out in our International Education Strategy, to host 600,000 international students per year by 2030.

The Prime Minister has also been clear that he wants to help the UK attract talent from around the world. On May 28 2019, we announced guarantees on student finance for EU nationals. EU nationals (and their family members) who start a course in England in the 2020/21 academic year or before will continue to be eligible for ‘home fee’ status and undergraduate and postgraduate student financial support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course, provided they meet the residency requirement.

To further ensure the UK higher education sector remains internationally attractive, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister announced the new Graduate Route in September 2019. This will offer an opportunity for international students who have passed their degree to stay and work in the UK for two years post-study.

22nd Jul 2021
What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on maintaining British food standards in the trade deal with Australia.

I have had regular discussions with the Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade and, indeed, other Cabinet colleagues on the issue of food standards in the context of our negotiations with Australia.

The UK is rightly proud of our world-leading food, environment and animal welfare standards. We have a number of tools available in FTAs to maintain these standards. All imports of agri-food products will still have to comply with the UK’s food safety and biosecurity requirements.

The commitment to non-regression means that neither country can lower their animal welfare standards to undercut the other.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers pilot scheme; and when he plans to make an announcement on its future.

On 22 December 2020, the Government extended the Seasonal Workers Pilot for one year and expanded the number of visas from 10,000 to 30,000.

The extension and expansion of the Pilot for 2021 will allow for further evaluation of the pilot, including how growers will reduce their reliance on migrant labour now we have left the EU, whilst also easing some of the pressure felt on farms when they are at their busiest. The first-year evaluation information will be published later this year.

Defra is working closely with industry and the Home Office to better understand the effectiveness of interventions and to ensure there is a long-term strategy for the food and farming workforce beyond 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish (a) what plans he has to assess the effectiveness of Seasonal Agricultural Workers Pilot scheme due to end in February 2021, (b) the criteria for the final assessment of that scheme and (c) any assessments carried out of that scheme to date.

On 22 December 2020, the Government extended the Seasonal Workers Pilot for one year and expanded the number of visas from 10,000 to 30,000.

The extension and expansion of the Pilot for 2021 will allow for further evaluation of the pilot, including how growers will reduce their reliance on migrant labour now we have left the EU, whilst also easing some of the pressure felt on farms when they are at their busiest. The first-year evaluation information will be published later this year.

Defra is working closely with industry and the Home Office to better understand the effectiveness of interventions and to ensure there is a long-term strategy for the food and farming workforce beyond 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans she has to consult with stakeholder organisations representing migrant workers on the future of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Pilot scheme before any further rollout of that scheme.

On 22 December 2020, the Government extended the Seasonal Workers Pilot for one year and expanded the number of visas from 10,000 to 30,000.

The extension and expansion of the Pilot for 2021 will allow for further evaluation of the pilot, including how growers will reduce their reliance on migrant labour now we have left the EU, whilst also easing some of the pressure felt on farms when they are at their busiest. The first-year evaluation information will be published later this year.

Defra is working closely with industry and the Home Office to better understand the effectiveness of interventions and to ensure there is a long-term strategy for the food and farming workforce beyond 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of existing regulations on rights of access to waterways; and if he will make a statement.

There are no plans to undertake such an assessment.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she plans to bring forward legislation to recognise animal sentience.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for City of Chester, Christian Matheson, on 20 January 2020, WQ 3774.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the Answers of 29 April 2021 to Questions 188093 and 188094, when she expects the review to (a) conclude and (b) report.

We anticipate that the Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) – which will become the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) on 1st June – will complete the steel safeguard review in time for a decision by my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade before the measure expires on 30th June.

Before the TRA makes its final recommendation, it will publish a statement summarising the evidence and its initial conclusions. This will be open to comments.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on steps that the Government is taking to provide support for steel production that imports large amounts of Category 12 steep products: Non alloy and other alloy: Merchant bars and light sections.

The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the steel safeguard measure on 1st October 2020. This review is ongoing.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the sufficiency of Category 12 steel products: Non alloy and other alloy: Merchant bars and light sections quotas for import for the development of steel in the UK.

The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) initiated a review of the steel safeguard measure on 1st October 2020. This review is ongoing.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure continued export of (a) satellite TV signals licensed in the UK to the countries of the EU and (b) the continued export of UK television programmes and films to the EU after the transition period.

After the transition period, the UK will continue to be a signatory to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ECTT). This means that the 22 countries that are co-signatories must allow freedom of reception of services under UK jurisdiction.

However, UK-based audio-visual media service providers may need to comply with the rules of a Member State to have access to the EU market in which they would want to provide their services. Similarly, EU providers wishing to supply services in the United Kingdom may need to abide by UK rules.

Broadcasters and on-demand programme services providers have been encouraged to seek legal advice and contact EU media regulators to check whether their current licence will continue to be accepted in the EU countries where the service is available, or if a separate licence or authorisation will be required.

Europe remains the second biggest territory for UK TV exports worth an estimated £470m in 2018/19. The UK's European Works (EW) status is valued by our Audio-Visual sector and our European partners who value access to the UK's world class content on their screens.

As a signatory to the ECTT framework, UK content will continue to hold the status of EW with guaranteed access to the EW quota within the EU. The government is implementing the recent updates to the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) in our domestic regime, which will extend quotas for EW to on-demand content, underlining the government's ongoing commitment to the EW framework for film and television.

4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many UK firms (a) exported to, (b) imported from and (c) exported to and imported from the EU in the 2019-20 financial year.

In 2019, 39,000 businesses only exported goods to the EU, 95,000 businesses only imported goods from the EU and 89,000 businesses exported and imported goods from the EU.

Source: HMRC 2019 UK Importer and Exporter Population
Data is available by calendar year only.
Data on businesses exporting services to the EU is not available.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the Government’s preparations to carry out full checks on controlled goods entering the UK at EU-facing ports from July 2021 where infrastructure to implement those controls does not currently exist.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) already tackle smuggling and they will continue to do so through intelligence-led targeting. My Department continues working closely with HMRC to make sure that the United Kingdom’s trade policy will be effectively operationalised at the border after the transition period ends.

Border controls on controlled goods will continue regardless of whether imports come from the European Union or Rest of the World countries. To ensure compliance with new customs procedures and controls at the border after transition period ends, my Rt Hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster recently announced a new infrastructure funding package that includes £470m to build the necessary infrastructure required.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on the Government’s (a) operation delivery plans, (b) timeframes and (c) risks in relation to the delivery of tariff declaration systems on non-EU imports from 1 January 2021.

I cannot disclose the specifics of discussions between my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and my Rt Hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Dutchy of Lancaster.

However, I can assure the Hon. Gentleman that the Department for International Trade is working closely with officials in both the Border and Protocol Delivery Group and HM Revenue and Customs to implement all border delivery plans and timelines, including in relation to the delivery of tariff declaration systems, in the lead up to the end of the transition period.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to mitigate the risk of a legal challenge at the WTO as a result of the (a) UK’s new border regime and (b) implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Government complies with its international obligations. The Department for International Trade continues to work with relevant government departments on the UK’s WTO compliance, as a result of the UK’s new border regime and the Northern Ireland Protocol. The Government will discharge its responsibilities in a way that is effective; which upholds our international obligations; and which respects the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate she has made of the potential cost to her Department of a defensive trade dispute brought against the UK at the WTO as a result of the UK's new border regime and implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The litigation costs associated with defensive trade disputes vary significantly depending on the nature and complexity of the individual dispute. This department has established the processes and procedures necessary to ensure that the UK will effectively represent itself independently in trade disputes from the end of the Transition Period. The Department for International Trade will continue to work with all Government departments to prepare for any potential defensive trade disputes, including ensuring appropriate provision is made to meet the costs.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the level risk of an increase in goods smuggled into the UK from the EU as a result to the Government's phased introduction of border controls; and what assessment she has made of the effect of smuggled goods on trade negotiations with non-EU countries.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) already tackle smuggling and they will continue to do so through intelligence-led targeting. My Department continues working closely with HMRC to make sure that the United Kingdom’s trade policy will be effectively operationalised at the border after the transition period ends.

Border controls on controlled goods will continue regardless of whether imports come from the European Union or Rest of the World countries. To ensure compliance with new customs procedures and controls at the border after transition period ends, my Rt Hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster recently announced a new infrastructure funding package that includes £470m to build the necessary infrastructure required.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 23July 2021 to Question 34070 on Pavement Parking, when the result of the Government’s consultation on pavement parking is planned to be published.

We are giving careful consideration to the large volume of responses to this consultation and will publish the outcome as soon as possible.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made on negotiations to extend the quarantine-free covid-19 travel rules for double-vaccinated travellers from Amber list countries to include people who have received their full WHO-recognised vaccinations in a country other than the UK.

We are working closely with international partners on reopening travel and will provide an update in due course on how to safely reopen travel for fully vaccinated people from overseas.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the promotion of the use of fluorescent clothing by cyclists.

Action 41 of the Government response to the 2018 Cycling and Walking Safety Review committed the Department to commission a package of research to look into the technical, physiological and behavioural issues relating to the visibility and audibility of cyclists with the aim of recommending future interventions.

The Department commissioned NatCen to conduct an evidence review to understand the factors behind collisions involving cyclists where road users failed to look properly, or looked but failed to see a cyclist, and to assess possible interventions to minimise these types of collisions, including the use of high visibility and florescent clothing. The review is now largely complete and the Department is due to publish the report shortly.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential need for increased infrastructure investment in areas designated for freeports.

The Government intends to authorize up to ten freeports across the four nations of the UK. We have consulted on the framework, and responses to that consultation are currently under consideration, but no sites have yet been selected. Infrastructure requirements, whether the responsibility of the private or public sector, will be integral to the selection and site development processes.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of space for pushchairs on trains.

There are mandatory standards for rail vehicle accessibility. The standards include the provision of wheelchair spaces on trains as well as making travel easier for those travelling with prams/pushchairs and small children. Except where a dispensation exists, all rail vehicles, including trams, must meet the accessibility standards and my Department is closely monitoring the rail industry’s progress towards meeting them.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of amending the rules governing eligibility for the Funeral Expenses Payment to provide discretion for another close family member to be granted the payment in circumstances where the partner of the deceased is unable or unwilling to take responsibility for a funeral.

There are no current plans to amend the eligibility criteria for Funeral Expenses Payment.

To receive support through the Funeral Expenses Payment scheme, a person must be in receipt of a qualifying income-related benefit and be the person responsible for making the funeral arrangements. In cases where the deceased has a surviving partner, they are considered to be the responsible person. Where there is no surviving partner or the surviving partner was estranged from the deceased at the time of death, an immediate family member (parent or child), a close relative or a close friend may be considered for help through the scheme.

Where the surviving partner of the deceased was not estranged but is unable to act on their own behalf, a person, or a body of people, may apply to act on their behalf as an appointee. If a surviving partner is able to act on their own behalf and but is not estranged or willing to take responsibility for the funeral arrangements, a Funeral Expenses Payment cannot be awarded to another family member. They could, however, apply for a Budgeting Loan or a Universal Credit Budgeting Advance to help pay towards the cost of a funeral, if they meet the eligibility criteria.

In certain circumstances, Public Health funerals are provided by local authorities.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of reforming the qualification criteria for the State Pension to include part year National Insurance contributions.

There are no plans to change the National Insurance qualifying year definitions for State Pension purposes.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of reforming the qualification criteria for the State Pension to include part year National Insurance contributions.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of delaying part of the grant which funds the Discretionary Housing Payment for 2020-21 until October 2021 on local authorities' ability to administer that payment effectively.

There has been no delay to Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) funding.

DHP funding for 2021/22 is a total of £140m, which will be allocated in two parts. £100m initial allocation at the start of the financial year, followed by £40m at mid-year which will be allocated based on the most up to date information available on each LAs individual needs; this approach aims to ensure that DHPs are targeted to areas with the greatest need.

We have been closely monitoring the DHP spend and we will continue to do this throughout 2021/22.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 179078, for what reason rapid response funding does not cover career change retraining for those who have been made redundant.

RRS funding is demand led, and Districts have the discretion to decide whether offers of support, including vocational or non-vocational training, are appropriate to the local labour market, and subsequently are appropriate to move a person into employment.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the proposal of Scope for an emergency support package to protect disabled people, published on 18 January 2021.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer I gave on 09 February to question number 149299.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support she is putting in place for people (a) awaiting a face-to-face assessment for employment and support allowance, (b) whose contributory employment and support allowance is due to expire and (c) who earn above the threshold eligible for universal credit.

The health and safety of our claimants and staff is our key priority. We suspended all face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits in March 2020. This temporary suspension, brought in to protect people from unnecessary risk of coronavirus at the outset of the pandemic, remains in place, and is being kept under review in line with the latest public health guidance. Any re-introduction of face-to-face assessments would involve stringent Covid-19 related safety measures, supported by guidance for claimants and assessment providers to ensure compliance with the relevant public health guidance.

However, throughout the pandemic we have continued to assess people on paper evidence, using this route whenever possible. We also introduced telephone assessments, providing limited outcomes, in June 2020. We have continued building our capacity and capability since June enabling us to provide the full range of outcomes at volume from this February. This action will ensure that claimants receive their correct benefit entitlement as quickly as possible and reduce the time claimants who may be entitled to a higher award are waiting for their assessment.

Where an individual’s contributory ESA ends if they require further financial support they may be eligible for Universal Credit, depending on their personal circumstances.

For people who are ineligible for Universal Credit they may be eligible for other assistance such as Discretionary Housing Payments provided by their Local Authority, which helps the most vulnerable and supports renters with housing costs in the private and social rented sectors.

In addition, the Government has introduced a raft of temporary measures to support those hardest hit:

  • Extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to support individuals and businesses who are impacted by disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) this winter. The CJRS (also known as the furlough scheme) will remain open until 31 March 2021
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of 2 further grants, each available for 3-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.
  • Affected self-employed claimants will also not have a Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time within UC.
  • Working people on low incomes who are required to remain at home by NHS Test and Trace to help stop the spread of the virus and cannot work from home can now receive £500 to financially support them while self-isolating.
  • Local housing allowance rates have been increased to cover the lowest 30th percent of local rents. This £1bn investment will benefit over 1 million households with an average increase of £600 this year, and help alleviate the pressure on Discretionary Housing Payments.
  • People in England can also apply to their Local Authority for support from the £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme that we have introduced to help with food and essential utility bills to the end of March. Devolved Administrations have received equivalent funding.

In addition, there is a Flexible Support Fund, which has been increased by £150 million, to support customers facing redundancy.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to provide increased support to employment and support allowance claimants awaiting face-to-face assessments for higher rate benefits.

The health and safety of our claimants and staff is our key priority. We suspended all face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits in March 2020. This temporary suspension, brought in to protect people from unnecessary risk of coronavirus at the outset of the pandemic, remains in place, and is being kept under review in line with the latest public health guidance. Any re-introduction of face-to-face assessments would involve stringent Covid-19 related safety measures, supported by guidance for claimants and assessment providers to ensure compliance with the relevant public health guidance.

Eligible Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants will receive the Assessment Rate of benefit for the first 13 weeks (this rate will increase by 0.5% in April in line with the Consumer Price Index). At present, claimants may stay on this rate for longer than usual.

However, throughout the pandemic we have continued to assess people on paper evidence, using this route whenever possible. We also introduced telephone assessments providing limited outcomes in June 2020, building capacity and capability since then which has enabled us to provide the full range of outcomes from the beginning of February. By doing this, we will ensure that claimants receive their correct benefit entitlement as quickly as possible and reduce the time claimants who may be entitled to a higher award having to wait for their assessment.

Therefore, if a claimant qualifies for an additional amount following their Work Capability Assessment (WCA), it will be backdated to the 14th week to ensure no long-term loss.

Where an individual’s contributory ESA ends, if they require further financial support, they may be able to claim Universal Credit, depending on their personal circumstances.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to implement alternative arrangements for face-to-face assessments for employment and support allowance.

We continue to complete paper based assessments where possible and are now carrying out telephone Work Capability Assessments from which all outcomes are available. We are also trialling video assessments. Once completed the trial will be evaluated and a decision made on the feasibility to roll-out wider.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many staff the Health and Safety Executive (a) employed in 2019-20 and (b) employs in 20202-21; and how many of those staff were dedicated to working in Scotland in each of those years.

On 31st March 2020 HSE employed 2343 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, 222 of whom were based in Scotland, and a further 28 contingent labour staff [1].

On 31st December 2020 HSE employed 2345 FTE staff, 211 of whom were based in Scotland, and a further 133(p) contingent labour staff.

HSE is a national regulator and regulatory effort is not necessarily confined by geographical region. HSE has specialists who work across geographical regions such as those regulating major hazard sectors. Regions are also able to draw on the support of HSE’s Science Directorate to assist investigations and to support important health and safety research and HSE’s Engagement and Policy Division who develop regulatory policy and design communications strategy.

[1] ‘Contingent labour’ is defined as temporary staff not on HSE’s payroll, which may include agency workers, specialist contractors, interim managers etc.

(p) Provisional - due to the early reporting of this figure final reconciliation of contingent labour staff is still ongoing and may be subject to change once this is complete.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the decision not to extend the covid-19 emergency £20 funding for universal credit claimants to those on legacy benefits.

As part of the Government’s strategy to support people affected by COVID 19, DWP has made a number of changes to make sure people can self-isolate, and to ensure people who need financial help have access to the benefit system. We have announced measures that benefit those experiencing the most financial disruption and which can be quickly and effectively operationalised, these include:

  • Increasing the Local Housing Allowance rates so that they cover 30% of local market rents – which is on average an additional £600 per year in people’s pockets.

  • Amendments to Housing Benefit so that increases in Working Tax Credits can be disregarded rather than reducing the Housing Benefit award.

  • Treating all ESA claimants who satisfy the conditions of entitlement and are suffering from COVID-19, or who are required to self-isolate in line with government guidance, as having limited capability for work, without the requirement to provide a fit note or to undergo a Work Capability Assessment.

  • Removing waiting days for ESA for those claimants affected by Covid-19, so it will be payable from day one of the claim, subject to the claimant satisfying the normal conditions of entitlement.
Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of personal independence payment evaluation criteria for evaluating (a) chronic fatigue syndrome, (b) fibromyalgia and (c) other chronic illnesses.

All health professionals carrying out assessments are clinically qualified and registered practitioners in their own field. DWP requires health professionals to have a broad training in disability analysis as well as awareness training in specific conditions, which includes chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and other chronic illness.

The PIP consultation is not a medical assessment requiring the health professional to diagnose a condition or its severity and recommend treatment options. Instead it requires the assessor to look at the impact of conditions and impairments on an individual’s daily life. This helps ensure that assessment reports are fit for purpose, clinically justified and sound, and provide sufficient information for the department to make a reasonable decision on entitlement to benefit.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 February to Question 15027, whether her Department collects data on the correlation between the number of people borrowing from loan sharks and the roll-out of universal credit in an area.

The Department does not collect data about the use of loan sharks.

The Government is creating a Breathing Space scheme to help people experiencing problem debt. Breathing Space will be implemented in early 2021 and provide access to advice and allow people the time and space to fully engage with professional support, helping them identify a sustainable solution to their debts. The scheme will cover a broad range of debts, including not only financial services debts but also arrears owed to utility companies and to central and local government.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the effect of the roll-out of universal credit in Sheffield on (a) the number of people borrowing from loan sharks and (b) the amount of money being borrowed (i) by claimants and (ii) non-claimants.

The latest caseload data shows Universal Credit is supporting 2.8 million claimants, including those in Sheffield, to more easily start work and access smoother incentives, such as the work allowance and taper, to increase hours. We have scrapped the cliff edges and complicated hours’ rules of the legacy benefit system to ensure claimants have flexibility to access the opportunities offered in the labour market. It will provide an extra £2.1bn a year once full rolled out, compared to the legacy benefits it replaces.

During a claimant’s first interview, Work Coaches identify those who require immediate financial assistance and will offer access to a New Claim Advance. Around 60% of new claims take up an advance, which are repayable, interest free, over a 12-month period. From October 2021, the repayment period on advances will be further extended to 16 months.

For claimants who require additional support, Work Coaches and Case Managers can signpost individuals to specialist support for personal budgeting, money guidance and debt advice if required, including through the Money and Pensions Service.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of amending her Department's requirements on the use of audio recording equipment to make it easier for claimants to record benefits assessment interviews.

DWP remains committed to improving the assessment process, especially around trust and transparency. We are currently developing an approach to provide consistency for claimants across audio recording of Work Capability Assessments and PIP assessments.

15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether international students arriving on UK university campuses, who have had one or more of covid-19 vaccination dose from a MHRA-approved vaccine outside of the UK’s vaccination programme, will be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate in the event that a close contact is a confirmed covid-19 case, in line with the position for their UK peers.

International students vaccinated abroad, including a vaccine approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, are required to self-isolate if identified as a close contact. All those testing positive must self-isolate, regardless of vaccination status or where they were vaccinated.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including inhalers in medical kits.

No such assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of expanding the official list of covid-19 symptoms which trigger testing.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Justin Madders MP) on 30 June to Question 25024.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 July 2021 to Question 10360 on Travel: Coronavirus, how many covid-19 testing providers have (a) received a five-day warning and (b) been removed from the list of providers on GOV.UK as a result of poor test turnaround times.

Due to commercial sensitivities, the Department does not publish the specific reasons for organisations being removed from the GOV.UK listing. In the last two weeks, 57 COVID-19 test providers have been removed from the GOV.UK listing and a further 84 have been issued with a warning.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of covid-19 reported cases have been in people under 18 years old each week for the last 16 weeks.

This data is not available in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much winter funding has been allocated to the NHS in real terms in each year since 2010-11.

The information is not available in the format requested and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 179661 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of prioritising 17-year-old students planning to start university in September 2021 to receive their first covid-19 vaccine so that those students will be able to be in receipt of two covid-19 vaccinations prior to the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is currently examining the evidence and the relative risks and benefits of routinely vaccinating children and young people against COVID-19 and will provide advice to the Department in due course. This will include consideration of those aged 16 to 17 years old.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the value for money of covid-19 tests provided by private companies to the public for international travel.

We have made no such assessment.

Since requirements were introduced for international travel testing, the costs of testing have fallen significantly. We are committed to working with the travel industry and private providers to reduce the cost of travel testing and we have made NHS Test and Trace tests available at the market mid-point.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact of the end of free movement on the availability of labour in the UK social care sector.

The flow of EU workers into the sector annually is small comparable to the size of the workforce. Fewer than 5% of all workers joining the sector in a direct care role in 2019/20 had arrived from the EU in the previous 12 months. Therefore, we do not anticipate that there will be an immediate impact on workforce supply. We will continue to monitor the situation with regards to domestic recruitment and the flow of workers from the EU.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the processes in place to ensure that providers of covid-19 travel tests meet the targets they advertise for processing tests.

We have made no specific assessment.

The Department monitors all providers’ performance, including test turnaround times and those providing inadequate services receive a five-day warning to demonstrate they have rectified their service or they are removed from the list of providers on GOV.UK.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to include arrangements for the commissioning of clinical treatment for gambling disorder in proposals for a new health and care Bill.

There are no current plans to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to issue guidance to NHS trusts on ensuring that care is not withheld from EU citizens and non-EU family members who are eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme but have not made an application (a) before and (b) after the 30 June 2021 deadline.

The Department has issued detailed guidance to National Health Service trusts, making it clear that EU citizens will need to have lawful status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to meet the ordinarily residence test from 1 July 2021. From this date, the Home Office will accept late applications to the EUSS where they accept the person has reasonable grounds. The Department has provided guidance to NHS trusts on the chargeable status of patients who have made a late application. Primary medical care is free of charge to all overseas visitors.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps EU citizens with Settled Status or non-EU family members with Settled Status should take to evidence that status and the date on which it was received; and what steps EU citizens with Settled Status or non-EU family members who have applied for Settled Status but not yet received it should take to evidence the date of their application to the EU Settlement Scheme upon receiving NHS treatment or care.

European Union citizens and non-EU family members that have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) can provide their Certificate of Application as evidence of this when accessing National Health Service treatment. Those granted EUSS status will be able to provide a share code, through which NHS trusts can establish their immigration status. EU citizens and non-EU family members will still need to meet the ordinarily residence test to be eligible for free healthcare. Primary medical care is free of charge to all overseas visitors. Health services are not withheld from anyone in urgent need.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a public awareness campaign on the health dangers of nitrous oxide use.

No assessment has been made. FRANK, the government’s drug information and advisory website, provides information on a wide range of drugs including nitrous oxide. It covers the risks of using nitrous oxide, including the risks of mixing it with alcohol. It also signposts users to support services and provides a 24 hour free-to-use confidential helpline, text and email message services and online chat.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the stock level of rapid lateral flow covid-19 tests is; and how many of those tests are needed to provide for twice weekly rapid lateral flow testing for all people in England.

We estimate that between 35 to 45 million tests per week will be needed to provide twice weekly rapid lateral flow testing for all people in England. We have a stock level that far exceeds this to allow us to actively manage ongoing replenishment, monitor uptake and adjust incoming supply.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has undertaken an assessment of the potential effect on (a) the gambling industry and (b) gamblers of that industry taking a self-regulatory approach to gambling addition.

No such assessment has been made. The gambling industry is currently regulated by the Gambling Commission, established under the Gambling Act 2005. The role of the Gambling Commission is to permit gambling in so far as it is consistent with the licensing objectives of keeping gambling fair and crime free and protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by it.

We are working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in their comprehensive review of the Gambling Act 2005, ensuring the regulatory framework is fit for purpose and protects children and vulnerable people from gambling-related harms.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 12 March 2021 to Question 158991 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of prioritising special school staff for receipt of covid-19 vaccines.

In line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) advice, special school staff will not be prioritised for a COVID-19 vaccination based on their occupation. Special school staff will be prioritised for vaccination according to their age and clinical risk along with the rest of the population. There are currently no plans to deviate from the JCVI’s advice on prioritisation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to Question 158024, tabled by the hon. Member for Sheffield Central on 24 February 2021.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s question will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason his Department amended the definition of severe asthma sufferers as those who were formally shielding, regularly take steroid tablets or had ever had an emergency hospital admission; and what impact assessment was undertaken before that definition was amended.

People suffering from severe asthma are more likely to have had an emergency hospital admission or have taken oral steroids for a specified frequency. These criteria were behind the decision to include severe asthma sufferers as part of priority group six for vaccination.

Regarding shielding, patients with severe asthma were identified as being priority group four or clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) by two routes. An algorithm was used to identify patients who received high levels of certain asthma medication. Inpatients were also directly added to the CEV list by a clinician in either primary or secondary care following the shielding advice for those with severe respiratory conditions, which was published by the British Thoracic Society in April 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Feb 2021
What recent assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the operation of child and adolescent mental health services.

We know that some children and young people have found this period difficult for their mental health and we are absolutely committed to ensuring they have access to the right support.

Children and young people’s community and specialist mental health services have remained open throughout the pandemic and continue to offer support using digital and remote approaches while maintaining face to face appointments where appropriate.

All mental health trusts have made available 24 hours a day, seven days a week all age urgent mental health helplines so children and young people in crisis can get urgent help when they need it.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of prioritising people with ME and chronic fatigue syndrome for covid-19 vaccination.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has not identified any robust data to indicate that, as a group, persons with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome are at higher risk of mortality from COVID-19 and therefore are not included as a group for prioritisation for vaccination in the vaccine programme.

Prioritisation for phase two has not yet been decided, but interim advice has been published by the JVCI recommending an age-based approach which the Government has accepted in principle. Phase two of the COVID-19 vaccine programme will cover all adults under 50 not already included in Phase one.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of online treatment on removing barriers to treatment for women suffering from gambling disorder.

No specific assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the need for a prevalence survey on levels of problem gambling among women.

The NHS Long Term Plan announced the creation of up to 15 specialist gambling clinics by 2023/24. Work continues on the phased expansion of these services, enabling the National Health Service to explore how best to use existing treatment models to reach those most in need of support.

The Department commissioned Public Health England to undertake the first ever comprehensive evidence review focussed on gambling-related harm. The review will look at the prevalence, determinants and harms associated with gambling, alongside the social and economic burden of gambling-related harms. This includes reviewing the evidence on young people, men and women. The review will be published later this year.

Alongside this, the National Institute of Health Research commissioned a research unit in Sheffield University to undertake a mapping review of the effectiveness of national and international policies and interventions to reduce gambling-related harms.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the efficacy of standard treatments for problem gambling among women.

The NHS Long Term Plan announced the creation of up to 15 specialist gambling clinics by 2023/24. Work continues on the phased expansion of these services, enabling the National Health Service to explore how best to use existing treatment models to reach those most in need of support.

The Department commissioned Public Health England to undertake the first ever comprehensive evidence review focussed on gambling-related harm. The review will look at the prevalence, determinants and harms associated with gambling, alongside the social and economic burden of gambling-related harms. This includes reviewing the evidence on young people, men and women. The review will be published later this year.

Alongside this, the National Institute of Health Research commissioned a research unit in Sheffield University to undertake a mapping review of the effectiveness of national and international policies and interventions to reduce gambling-related harms.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the availability of specialist treatment services for gambling disorders.

The National Health Service remains on track to deliver the expansion of specialist treatment services for those individuals addicted to gambling. The existing gambling clinics have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a combination of remote and face to face treatment, where safe to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to launch a public information campaign on the correct use of face masks and face coverings.

The Government continues to run a public health campaign across different media on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This campaign includes alerting the public to where face coverings are required and how to wear one correctly.

Most Government communications efforts surrounding face coverings are now part of the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ campaign, for which video resources demonstrating correct face covering usage have been produced. These resources have been used on multiple social media channels alongside in person prompts such as in transport hubs and shop windows.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing two children under the age of 12 to meet outdoors with an adult present as part of the covid-19 lockdown restrictions announced in January 2021.

It is against the law for anyone, including children under 12 years old to meet socially with friends outdoors, including if an adult is present, unless they are part of their household or support bubble. Under the current restrictions, individuals cannot leave home for recreational or leisure purposes.

The Government keeps its restrictions under continual review and will make changes if the data and science supports it.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional funding the Government has provided to support the expansion of the problem gambling clinic network from two services to 14 services as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The NHS Long Term Plan announced the creation of 15 new specialist problem gambling clinics with up to £15 million of funding allocated over five years until 2023/24. The following table shows the committed annual spend for problem gambling mental health support.

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

Total annual funding (£ million)

1

1

3

4

6

Source: NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20 – 2023/24

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to produce and publish additional evidence on assessing the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna covid-19 vaccines for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

There are currently no plans to produce and publish additional evidence regarding the use of COVID-19 vaccines on pregnant or breastfeeding women. It is recommended to that women affected should discuss whether to receive the vaccine with their doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the differences in coverage of (a) countries and (b) services are between the European Health Insurance Card scheme and the UK Global Health Insurance Card; and if he will make a statement.

The reciprocal healthcare coverage under the United Kingdom-European Union Trade and Cooperation Agreement for those on a temporary stay in an EU member state is the same, in terms of healthcare services which can be accessed by individuals, compared to the previous coverage under EU Regulations 883 and 987. However, under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, crew or passengers of a vessel or aircraft may now be covered for necessary healthcare on their arrival in an EU member state if the need arose whilst on a voyage, which is not the case under the EU Regulations.

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides reciprocal healthcare coverage for travel to EU member states only. European Free Trade Area states are not covered. The UK Global Health Insurance Card has been launched to recognise this new agreement and will gradually replace old European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) once they expire.

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK nationals who were residing and/or working in the EU, and EU citizens residing and/or working in the UK, before 1 January 2021 are eligible to apply for a new UK EHIC which can be used for travel to EU member states, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. For those who are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has agreed a bilateral reciprocal arrangement with Norway which means UK nationals are covered for necessary healthcare there.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many applications for the UK Global Health Insurance Card have been received since the introduction of that scheme.

The NHS Business Services Authority has received over 38,000 applications for the United Kingdom Global Health Insurance Card since the announcement of the scheme on 11 January 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on rates of childhood obesity.

No assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment has been made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on health services for seriously overweight children.

The findings of Public Heath England-led research indicates that during the COVID-19 outbreak children’s face-to-face behavioural weight management services were suspended. Some services however continued to provide support remotely.

The research is available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/weight-management-services-during-covid-19-phase-1-insights

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Sep 2020
What steps the Government is taking to ensure adequate provision of mental health services in schools when they reopen as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Government’s £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return programme will support staff to respond to the emotional and mental health pressures some children and young people may be feeling.

We are continuing to establish mental health support teams in schools, including two teams in the Sheffield area.

This complements the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum, which makes mental health a key part of primary- and secondary-school education.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish guidance on family visits to residential care homes as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Government published guidance on visiting care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic on 22 July 2020. This guidance is available on GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the resumption of visits to care homes in Northern Ireland and the existing guidance for England on that matter.

The resumption of visits to care homes in Northern Ireland is a devolved matter.

The Government works in close collaboration with the devolved administrations to share and stay up to date with the latest advice and policy developments.

We are aware that limiting visits in care homes is difficult for many families and residents who want to see their loved ones.

The Government published guidance for England on visiting care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic on 22 July 2020. This guidance is available on GOV.UK.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) clinical trials and (b) market authorisations from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency comply with European Medicines Agency standards in order to obtain approval for use in the EU market.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has taken pragmatic steps to ensure that the United Kingdom continues to have innovative and cost-effective treatments that benefit patients and boost growth in the life sciences sector. This includes limiting any additional cost or burden on industry by considering applications for marketing authorisations in the UK on the basis of information consistent with that being submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

As for clinical trials, the MHRA will continue to approve applications at a national level, working to international standards as they are now, using a UK data package whose requirements are consistent with those in the European Union. The UK will still have the ability to participate in multinational trials, as, data generated in a UK clinical trial will continue to be admissible to support regulatory activity in the EU, and indeed globally. This ensures the UK remains an attractive location for trials to take place, with a view to getting medicinal products licensed in the UK and elsewhere.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of people and (b) the number of people under the age of 18 who have taken up vaping who did not previously smoke cigarettes.

Public Health England publishes annual independent updates on the prevalence of vaping among adults and young people in England.

The latest report found that less than 1% of adults who have never smoked are current vapers (defined as any current use). Among young people under 18, less than 1% of those who have never smoked are current vapers (defined as weekly or less than weekly).

No assessment has been made of the effect of vaping on the health of people who have never smoked in England.

‘Vaping in England: an evidence update including mental health and pregnancy, March 2020: a report commissioned by Public Health England’, is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vaping-in-england-evidence-update-march-2020

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of vaping on the health of people who have not previously smoked cigarettes.

Public Health England publishes annual independent updates on the prevalence of vaping among adults and young people in England.

The latest report found that less than 1% of adults who have never smoked are current vapers (defined as any current use). Among young people under 18, less than 1% of those who have never smoked are current vapers (defined as weekly or less than weekly).

No assessment has been made of the effect of vaping on the health of people who have never smoked in England.

‘Vaping in England: an evidence update including mental health and pregnancy, March 2020: a report commissioned by Public Health England’, is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vaping-in-england-evidence-update-march-2020

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many diplomats the Government deployed to EU countries in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021.

At the end of the two most recent financial years, the number of FCDO UK Based staff working in EU countries was between 450-499 for 2019-20 and between 350-399 for 2020-21.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether any countries have closed their diplomatic offices in the UK in 2021.

FCDO records indicate that the diplomatic mission of the Solomon Islands to the Court of St. James's closed permanently on 31 March 2021, relocating to Brussels, Belgium.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many diplomats the Government employed in the UK Mission to the EU in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021.

At the end of the two most recent financial years, the number of FCDO UK Based staff working in the UK Mission to the EU was between 100-119 for 2019-20 and between 90-99 for 2020-21.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many meetings the UK Government has planned to take place with (a) German and (b) French Ministers before the end of the 2021 calendar year.

Ministers at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office regularly engage with their German and French counterparts in bilateral, E3 (UK-France-Germany) and multilateral formats. Meetings are arranged as and when required. Early meetings between the new Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and her German and French counterparts are being arranged.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the accuracy of reports on the use of chemical weapons in Tigray.

We are aware of reports alleging that civilians in Tigray have suffered burns that may be consistent with the weaponised use of white phosphorus. The Government of Ethiopia has strongly refuted allegations that such weapons are being used against civilians. The UK strongly condemns direct or indiscriminate attacks against civilians no matter what weapon is used.

The UK Government is working to establish the facts. Access to the affected areas, and to verified information, remains difficult. We have called for communications to be restored and for unfettered humanitarian access. We have also consistently called for access for independent human rights investigators. We will continue to do so and support the efforts of the joint investigation between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking with international partners to assess the risk and reduce the effect of climate change (a) globally and (b) on the UK.

The Integrated Review which was launched on 16 March by the Prime Minister, states that in 2021 and beyond, Her Majesty's Government will make tackling climate change and biodiversity loss its number one international priority and the Foreign Secretary will take the necessary steps to deliver on this. The UK is working closely with international partners to assess and reduce the risk of climate change both globally and in the UK. The Foreign Secretary and FCDO ministers regularly raise the subject in engagements with international partners. In December the UK co-hosted the Climate Ambition Summit where 75 leaders, as well as businesses pledged new and more ambitious commitments to tackle climate change. On 31 March, COP President-Designate Alok Sharma and the Foreign Secretary will host the Climate Development Ministerial which will bring together countries and partners to identify practical solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing vulnerable countries.

Domestically the Prime Minister's 10 Point Plan accelerates the UK's transition to Net-Zero. On 4 December 2020 we announced an ambitious new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This target commits the UK to the fastest rate of emissions reductions of any major economy. In 2019, we legislated for net zero emissions by 2050 - the first of the major economies to set such a legally binding target.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the demolition of the Musa family home in Al Khader.

Our Ambassador in Tel Aviv raised ongoing demolitions with the Israeli Authorities, in a meeting alongside like-minded partners on 25 February. I called on Israel to stop demolitions on 5 February 2021 and raised my concerns about demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures with the Israeli Ambassador on 29 October 2020. UK officials from the British Consulate in Jerusalem have made regular visits to areas at risk of demolition and eviction to reiterate UK support for those communities. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to the peace process.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Rwanda.

Rwanda has made huge strides over the past two decades with regards to a positive record on gender equality in its cabinet and parliament, and improvements in healthcare, development and prosperity. However, the UK remains concerned by Rwanda's overall human rights record and regularly raises specific cases of concern with the Rwandan Government. The UK firmly believes that a strong opposition and vibrant civil society is vital for a healthy and well-functioning democracy. Civil society and opposition parties must be able to operate freely, holding the Government of Rwanda to account and contributing to the debate on how Rwanda should be governed.

As a member of the Commonwealth, and future Chair-in-Office, we urge Rwanda to uphold and champion Commonwealth values of democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights. This was reiterated in the UK's statement on human rights in Rwanda at the 37th Session of the Universal Periodic Review on 25 January. We are clear that Rwanda must mirror its social and economic progress with gains in civil and political rights for its people.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Israel on ensuring that the forthcoming Palestinian elections can take place free of interference and obstruction.

We welcome President Abbas' announcement of dates for legislative and Presidential elections in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the first time since 2006. We encourage the Palestinian leadership to work toward strong, inclusive, accountable and democratic institutions, based on respect for the rule of law and human rights. Free and fair elections are an important and necessary step. The UK will work closely with the Palestinian Authority and international partners to support this. We are supportive of Hamas-Fatah reconciliation attempts, and of the Palestinian Authority returning to resume government functions in Gaza, helping to improve the dire humanitarian and economic situation and restore effective and accountable governance.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to support people threatened with famine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Responding to severe food insecurity is one of the UK's key objectives in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). UK aid has provided access to food for over 1.7 million people since 2017.

The UK is leading a global call to action on the risk of famine. We have appointed Nick Dyer as the UK's first Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs, and pledged £180 million in 2020 to provide aid to more than 7 million vulnerable people in some of the world's most fragile places, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

During my visit to the DRC in November 2020, I discussed with the Government of DRC the need to address the insecurity and conflict in the East which one of the key drivers of the humanitarian crisis. I also met with food insecure people who had fled violence, and visited a hospital where malnourished children were given lifesaving treatment.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 4 February 2021 on Question HL12460, what recent steps he has taken to support developing countries with procuring and administering covid-19 vaccines.

The UK is committed to rapid equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. The UK has committed £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines, of which the UK is one of the largest bilateral donors. Our commitment helped encourage other donors to commit $1 billion by the end of 2020. Our funding will contribute to the supply of at least 1.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 for up to 92 developing countries. The Prime Minister has said that the UK will share the majority of future vaccine doses surplus to domestic needs with COVAX.

The COVAX AMC aims to supply fully subsidised doses sufficient to vaccinate up to 20 per cent of country populations, initially prioritising healthcare workers, and then expanding to cover other priority groups. Countries will then be able to procure additional doses, subject to vaccine availability, in order to increase coverage further. COVAX is supporting countries to assess vaccine introduction readiness, and to develop detailed national deployment and vaccination plans, including support needed to strengthen delivery systems. Our network of health advisers in relevant AMC countries are working to support host governments to apply for the COVAX AMC and prepare for vaccine delivery.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Ethiopian counterpart on restoring peace and stability in the Tigray region.

We are concerned about the continued violence in Tigray region and its impact on regional security. We have consistently urged all parties to end the conflict, prioritise the protection of civilians and allow unfettered humanitarian access. The Foreign Secretary raised these points when he met with Prime Minister Abiy on 22 January and also pressed for a political dialogue to bring a lasting peace to Tigray.

The Foreign Secretary spoke with Prime Minister Abiy after he visited Gondar, in the neighboring Amhara region on 22 January and saw first-hand how £11m of UK Aid is supporting the World Food Programme and NGOs to ensure the delivery of aid to those affected by the conflict.

4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Israel on ensuring that it complies with the Geneva Convention on occupied territories and provides equitable access to vaccines for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

The UK regularly engages with both the Government of Israel and Palestinian Authority (PA) and will continue to raise timely and appropriate access to COVID-19 vaccines. We welcome steps both parties have taken so far to coordinate the response, including the recent delivery of 2,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine from the Israeli Authorities to the PA for Palestinian health workers. We continue to encourage further cooperation between the two parties.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what his Department's negotiating policy is on rights for UK-based musicians to tour in EU countries after the end of the transition period.

The Government recognises the importance of touring for UK musicians. For short stays of up to 90 days in any 180 day period, the EU has legislated such that UK nationals will not need a visa when travelling to and within the Schengen Area when performing a limited range of activities (e.g. attending cultural or sports events, business meetings, tourism). Member States have discretion to add activities to this list and UK nationals should check before travelling. For all travel involving work/long-term service provision, a visa and/or work permit may be needed.

As part of the Free Trade Agreement negotiations, we are seeking a reciprocal agreement with the EU on the type of business visitor activities both sides will commit to allowing, to provide long-term certainty for UK and EU travellers.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the political and security situation in Ethiopia.

The UK is concerned by the political and security situation in Ethiopia, including ongoing violence between ethnic groups, and reports of arrests and abuses by security services. I [Minister Duddridge] visited Ethiopia from 27 - 29 July and was able to discuss these issues with the President, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the President of Oromia Region. I [Minister Duddridge] pushed for full and transparent investigations into the violence, and that those detained are afforded due process and their cases heard promptly. I [Minister Duddridge] also expressed the need for more peaceful dialogue between different ethnic groups in Ethiopia and for space to be given for political debate.

The UK welcomes the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia to strengthen accountability. We have provided direct support to public consultations on the new civil society legislation and draft media proclamations. The UK is facilitating capacity building in Ethiopia to ensure that democratic institutions fulfil their constitutional mandate. For instance, we have supported the National Election Board of Ethiopia, contributing over £15 million of funding towards election preparations. We also support civil society organisations in Ethiopia so that they can play an increasing role in monitoring human rights. We will track the situation, raise our concerns at the deaths of civilians, and raise the importance of respect for human rights in meetings with the Government of Ethiopia and regional leaders.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle Israel’s demolition of structures in the West Bank and resulting displacement of Palestinians during the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK is seriously concerned by the continued demolitions of Palestinian structures by Israeli authorities, particularly at this time. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The practice causes unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, is harmful to the peace process and weakens the capacity of Palestinians to withstand the impact of COVID-19. Under IHL, an occupying power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining public health and hygiene in the occupied territory to the fullest extent of the means available to it and with the cooperation of the local authorities. We call on both parties to avoid any provocative action which might undermine the cooperation that is so critical.

Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv have repeatedly raised our concerns about demolitions with Israeli Ministers and senior officials, and urged them to cease the counter-productive policy of demolitions, and provide a clear, transparent route to construction for Palestinians in Area C. The British Government also supports Palestinians facing demolition or eviction in Area C of the West Bank through our legal aid programme. This helps residents challenge decisions in the Israeli legal system.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies in the context of the covid-19 pandemic of reports of Israel’s demolition of water, sanitation and hygiene structures used by Palestinians in the West Bank.

The UK is seriously concerned by the continued demolitions of Palestinian structures by Israeli authorities, particularly at this time. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The practice causes unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, is harmful to the peace process and weakens the capacity of Palestinians to withstand the impact of COVID-19. Under IHL, an occupying power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining public health and hygiene in the occupied territory to the fullest extent of the means available to it and with the cooperation of the local authorities. We call on both parties to avoid any provocative action which might undermine the cooperation that is so critical.

Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv have repeatedly raised our concerns about demolitions with Israeli Ministers and senior officials, and urged them to cease the counter-productive policy of demolitions, and provide a clear, transparent route to construction for Palestinians in Area C. The British Government also supports Palestinians facing demolition or eviction in Area C of the West Bank through our legal aid programme. This helps residents challenge decisions in the Israeli legal system.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the reported continued prevalence of night time family home arrests of Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers.

We continue to call on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law. We remain concerned about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his Israeli counterpart on those Palestinian children who have been held in Israeli military detention since the end of June 2020.

The UK remains concerned about the treatment of Palestinian children detained in Israeli military detention. We are committed to working with Israel to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including on this issue. We also continue to fund projects providing legal aid to minors and capacity building to local lawyers.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations has he made to the government of El Salvador on the occupation of that country's parliament building by armed forces and national civil police troops on 10 February 2020.

Our Ambassador to El Salvador issued public calls for dialogue on 9 and 11 February. On 12 February, he urged the Government and legislators to work together to reduce tensions and resolve the situation through dialogue, and welcomed the government's commitment to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court. The Head of Latin America Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office discussed the incident on 11 February with the Salvadoran Ambassador, and on 24 February with a visiting Government of El Salvador delegation. We welcome actions taken since by all parties since 9 February to reduce tensions. The UK and El Salvador have a close dialogue on a number of bilateral and global issues of mutual interest, and our Embassy in San Salvador remains in close contact with the Salvadoran authorities.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Bahraini counterpart on (a) Mohammed Ramadhan, (b) Hussain Moosa and (c) other prisoners sentenced to death in that country.

We continue to monitor the cases of Mohammed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa as their case is taken to the Court of Cassation for final review. We have raised both cases at senior levels with the Government of Bahrain, and will continue to do so where we have concerns. As the former Minister for the Middle East and North Africa publicly stated, we are deeply concerned that the death penalty has been issued to Mohammed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa. The Government of Bahrain is fully aware that the UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty, in all circumstances.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Turkish counterpart on reports of that country bringing forward legislative proposals that would grant an amnesty to rapists that married their victim.

The reporting of the proposed bill is deeply concerning. We strongly support the rights of women in Turkey and encourage the Turkish authorities to safeguard their welfare and respect their human rights and have raised our concerns over child marriage with the Turkish authorities. Our Embassy in Ankara provides project support to a number of Turkish civil society organisations working in the area of fundamental freedoms. Currently in the financial year 2019/20 we are funding a range of projects including women's and minority rights. We will continue to monitor the situation in Turkey and to encourage the government to protect fundamental rights.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he plans to make to his Brazilian counterpart on protecting the Amazon rainforest from further deforestation.

Ministers and our Embassy in Brasilia routinely engage with the Brazilian Government on many environmental issues, including deforestation. The United Kingdom is committed to encouraging and contributing to international action to address the widespread problem of deforestation.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question178712, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the grace period for Returned Goods Relief to 2023 to mitigate the effect of current covid-19 restrictions.

The Government has recently extended the grace period for the Returned Goods Relief (RGR) from one year to 18 months in light of the continuing travel restrictions in both the UK and the EU due to COVID-19. This extension to the grace period allows goods located in the EU at the end of the Transition Period to return to Great Britain by 30th June 2022, regardless of the date they left the UK.

27th Apr 2021
What assessment he has made of the change in the level of personal debt in the last 12 months.

The Government is committed to understand the impact of COVID-19 on personal debt levels and to help people access the support they need to get their finances back on track.

The Government works closely with the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) to monitor financial difficulty through an annual survey and notes the Financial Conduct Authority’s biennial Financial Lives Survey.

The latest findings from the Financial Lives Survey were published in February 2021. The findings include the impact of Covid-19 on people’s finances.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward the application date for the fourth round of Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grants.

The Government announced at Budget 2021 that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September, with a fourth and a final fifth grant.

The Government also announced a major improvement in access to the self-employed scheme. As the deadline for 2019-20 tax returns has now passed, HMRC will use these tax returns for the fourth and fifth grants, provided they were submitted by 2 March. This means that 600,000 people, many of whom became self-employed in 2019-20, may now be able to claim the fourth and fifth grants, bringing the total number of people who could be eligible to 3.7 million.

Using these returns requires time to deliver due to the increased population and new data. In order to allow HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) time to process 2019-20 tax returns it has not been possible to invite applications or open the claims service earlier.

HMRC will open the online claims service for the fourth SEISS grant from late April 2021 and expect to notify potentially eligible people of their personal claim date from mid-April.

Guidance on how to claim the fourth grant is now available online: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

The SEISS is just one part of a wider package of support for the self-employed, which includes automatic, self-serve time-to-pay arrangements, loans, welfare support, and other business support grants.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of HMRC rules which incur VAT charges on returning boats on UK citizens with boats in the EU as a result of covid-19 travel restrictions.

Relief from import VAT and any customs duty is available under Returned Goods Relief (RGR) for goods exported from the UK and re-imported within three years in an unaltered state. Goods which were transported from the UK to the EU and which remained located in the EU at the end of the transition period will be eligible for RGR, subject to meeting the conditions for the relief, if they are returned to Great Britain by 30 June 2022, regardless of the date they were transported to the EU. This extends the period during which such goods can return to Great Britain under RGR by a further six months in view of the continuing COVID-19 travel restrictions in the UK and in the EU. The extension of this grace period is included in the revised RGR legislation published on 22 March 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reference-documents-for-the-customs-reliefs-from-a-liability-to-import-duty-and-miscellaneous-amendments-eu-exit-regulations-2020.

For RGR to apply on import VAT relief, the exporter and the importer need to be the same person.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Financial Conduct Authority on extending the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to payday lending companies.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the compensation scheme of last resort for customers of failed UK-authorised financial services firms and is funded by a levy on the financial services industry. The FSCS is an independent non-governmental body and carries out its compensation function within rules set by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), they have the power to decide which activities are given FSCS protection. In 2016, the FCA decided not to extend FSCS protection to most consumer credit activities because it believed other regulatory requirements were sufficient.

The FCA’s reasoning for not extending FSCS protection was set out in a letter on 15 February 2019 from its Chief Executive to the Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. This reasoning was that consumer credit firms did not generally hold client assets; losses to consumers had reduced since the FCA had taken over regulation of consumer credit; and, because the cost of providing FSCS cover for high-cost short-term credit would likely need to be subsidised by levies on other regulated firms. A copy of that letter can be found here: https://www.parliament.uk/globalassets/documents/commons-committees/treasury/correspondence/2017-19/fca-chief-executive-to-chair-re-wonga-150219.pdf.

Treasury ministers and officials meet regularly with the FCA, and the Government will continue to work closely with the FCA to ensure consumers of financial services are treated fairly.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans to introduce a redress scheme for people who have been refused furlough by employers during the covid-19 outbreak because of claims that their employer is unable to afford national insurance and pension contributions.

Since November, employers are only asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This is lower than the previous level in September and October, and for an average claim accounts for just 5 per cent of total employment costs, or £70 per employee per month. Furthermore, many small employers can benefit from the Employment Allowance for support with their NICs bill, and, since March, businesses have received billions in loans, tax deferrals, Business Rate reliefs, and general and sector-specific grants. This support can be used by businesses to cover the costs of NICs and pension contributions, ensuring that they can continue to furlough their employees.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of making it mandatory for agencies to sign supply teachers up to the Flexible Furlough Scheme.

I refer the hon Member to my answer of 28 January 2021 to PQ UIN : 142918.

14th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his statement of 17 December 2020, what the eligibility criteria will be for further compensation for former London Capital and Finance bondholders.

The Written Ministerial Statement of 17 December 2020 outlined the three main channels through which London Capital & Finance plc (LCF) bondholders can seek compensation. These are the administration process, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and the Financial Conduct Authority’s Complaints Scheme.

The statement also announced that, taking into consideration the specific and complex set of circumstances surrounding the collapse of LCF, the Treasury will set up a compensation scheme which will assess whether there is justification for further one-off compensation payments in certain circumstances for some LCF bondholders . The Government will announce further details, including the eligibility criteria, in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to publish an impact assessment of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement each quarter for 2021, with reference to (a) sectors of the economy and (b) all regions and nations of the UK.

The Government does not intend to produce an Impact Assessment. We have consistently said that it would be impossible for a single model, number or scenario to capture that complexity or represent the varying impacts that will be felt across different parts of the economy.

The Government has secured a deal that will benefit families and businesses across the UK, we can now take full advantage of the opportunities available to us.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the support available under the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to people who were made unemployed between 20 March 2020 and 22 September 2020.

An employer can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. In addition, employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 (the day before the Job Support Scheme announcement) who were made redundant or stopped working afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for under the CJRS extension.

This cut-off date aims to include as many people as possible, while also addressing the risk of fraud that existed as soon as the fact that the Government was providing a further employment support scheme became public.

The Government has also provided wider support to individuals throughout the pandemic. In March, the Government announced a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element, and a nearly £1 billion increase in support for renters through increases to the Local Housing Allowance rates for UC and Housing Benefit claimants.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the eligibility criteria for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to people who set up their business after 6 April 2019.

The practical issues that prevented the Government from being able to include the newly self-employed in 2019-20 in the original Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), namely that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will not have access to their self-assessment returns in order to be able to verify their eligibility, still remain. The latest year for which HMRC have tax returns for all self-employed individuals is 2018/19. 2019/20 returns are not due until the end of January 2021.

Unlike for employees, self-employed income is not reported monthly, but at the end of each tax year on the individual’s Income Tax Self Assessment return. This means that the most reliable and up-to-date record of self-employed income is from 2018-19 tax returns.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of a comprehensive package of support for individuals and businesses. This package includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support,?increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the business rates holiday to include the flexible workspace sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

A range of measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for business rates relief such as flexible workspaces, has also been made available.

4th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many UK firms applied for a duty deferment account in (a) July 2020 and (b) August 2020.

HMRC received 58 applications for duty deferment accounts in July and 88 in August.

4th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many UK firms have applied for a duty deferment account for VAT on imported goods.

Since 1 April 2020, 283 UK businesses have applied for a duty deferment account which allows them to defer payments of import VAT.

4th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many individuals were qualified as customs intermediaries in the UK in (a) July and (b) August 2020.

HMRC do not employ customs intermediaries directly and there are no set qualifications.

The UK has a well-established industry of customs intermediaries that serve British businesses trading outside the EU. The sector is varied and made up of a number of different business models including specific customs brokers, freight forwarders and fast parcel operators; all of which require differing numbers of staff.

The Government has now made available a total of £84 million to grow the sector to encompass EU trade after 2020. This is one part of the measures to support the customs intermediary sector to meet the increased demand it will see from traders at the end of the transition period.

The Government continues to monitor progress carefully and keeps support under review.

1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reasons his Department did not renew freeport licenses by Statutory Instrument when they expired in 2012.

Pre-2012 UK Freeports model was were not well used, in large part because they offered limited only basic customs benefits and were in fixed locations inside ports.

The government has consulted on the introduction of a new Freeport model which will include a wider package of policy measures, including customs measures and tariff benefits, tax reliefs and planning freedoms to boost trade, regenerate deprived communities and promote innovation. The consultation closed on 13 July, and the responses are currently being carefully considered.

The government will ensure all the necessary safeguards are in place to minimise any risk of money laundering and tax evasion and will continue to meet international standards. The government’s consultation response will set out more detail on this, as well as on how any risk of harmful job displacement will be managed.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of freeports on the risk of money laundering and tax evasion in the UK.

Pre-2012 UK Freeports model was were not well used, in large part because they offered limited only basic customs benefits and were in fixed locations inside ports.

The government has consulted on the introduction of a new Freeport model which will include a wider package of policy measures, including customs measures and tariff benefits, tax reliefs and planning freedoms to boost trade, regenerate deprived communities and promote innovation. The consultation closed on 13 July, and the responses are currently being carefully considered.

The government will ensure all the necessary safeguards are in place to minimise any risk of money laundering and tax evasion and will continue to meet international standards. The government’s consultation response will set out more detail on this, as well as on how any risk of harmful job displacement will be managed.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of freeports on job displacement.

Pre-2012 UK Freeports model was were not well used, in large part because they offered limited only basic customs benefits and were in fixed locations inside ports.

The government has consulted on the introduction of a new Freeport model which will include a wider package of policy measures, including customs measures and tariff benefits, tax reliefs and planning freedoms to boost trade, regenerate deprived communities and promote innovation. The consultation closed on 13 July, and the responses are currently being carefully considered.

The government will ensure all the necessary safeguards are in place to minimise any risk of money laundering and tax evasion and will continue to meet international standards. The government’s consultation response will set out more detail on this, as well as on how any risk of harmful job displacement will be managed.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what lessons his Department has learnt from the previous incarnation of freeports, from 1984 to 2012, that he plans to implement when establishing new freeports.

Pre-2012 UK Freeports model was were not well used, in large part because they offered limited only basic customs benefits and were in fixed locations inside ports.

The government has consulted on the introduction of a new Freeport model which will include a wider package of policy measures, including customs measures and tariff benefits, tax reliefs and planning freedoms to boost trade, regenerate deprived communities and promote innovation. The consultation closed on 13 July, and the responses are currently being carefully considered.

The government will ensure all the necessary safeguards are in place to minimise any risk of money laundering and tax evasion and will continue to meet international standards. The government’s consultation response will set out more detail on this, as well as on how any risk of harmful job displacement will be managed.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his timeframe is for publishing information on which border points will be operating a (a) pre-lodgement or (b) temporary storage model for clearing goods entering, leaving or transiting the UK.

Border points are responsible for deciding how they want to ensure customs control requirements are met to meet full customs controls from July 2021. THEY will be able to use a temporary storage model or pre-lodgement model. HMRC are working with border points to help them decide which model is best for them but this is a commercial decision for each to make based on their own unique circumstances.

Where pre-lodgement of declarations may be mandated by legislation, details of those border points will be published in a notice on gov.uk at least 30 days before the legislation comes into force.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what arrangements have been made through the Border Operating Model to help traders unfamiliar with customs procedures to make entries into their own records.

Traders importing standard goods into Great Britain from the EU between 1 January and 30 June 2021 can make a record in their own commercial records at the point of entry of goods into Great Britain and then follow this with a supplementary declaration which must be submitted to HMRC within six months of the point of import. They will need to record details of the goods in their commercial records, including information such as the classification, value, and weight of the goods. In order to make a delayed supplementary declaration, the importer will need to become authorised to use customs simplified procedures or appoint an agent that is authorised. Further information can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/declaring-goods-brought-into-great-britain-from-the-eu-from-1-january-2021.

The vast majority of the UK’s rest of world traders use an agent or intermediary to comply with customs formalities and manage their logistics and transport needs. Based on this, the Government expects that intermediaries will play an essential role as the majority of UK businesses trading with the EU will want to use their services to facilitate the import/export process.

The UK has a well-established industry of customs intermediaries which serve British businesses. The sector is varied and made up of a number of different business models including specific customs brokers, freight forwarders and fast parcel operators. HMG has recently announced an additional £50 million of grant scheme support for the sector to increase capacity, in addition to the £34 million of support made available so far.

The £50 million support package will boost the capacity of the customs intermediary sector to help provide businesses with further support ahead of the new processes taking effect from January 2021. Those who currently complete or intend to complete customs declarations, either as an intermediary on behalf of their clients or importer or exporter for their own goods, are able to apply.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made the average time it will take for a frontier location to become a customs approved area.

The time required to become a customs approved area will depend on the unique circumstances of individual locations.

HM Revenue and Customs and Border Force are working to ensure that appropriate approvals will be in place by the end of the transition period.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many (a) ports, (b) roll-on/roll-off locations, (c) rail terminals and (d) airports are customs approved areas.

The number of frontier locations currently approved as customs approved areas to receive or dispatch freight from outside of the UK are:

77

Ports (including the 21 RoRo listed locations)

179

Wharves

6

Rail Terminals

37

Customs & Excise (C&E) Designated Airports

10

Non-C&E Designated Airports (including 8 approved to import aircraft not freight)

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) rail terminals, (b) airports and (c) pipeline operators that require temporary customs approvals.

About 10 rail terminals are expected to require temporary approvals.

Airports that receive or dispatch freight from outside of the UK should already be a customs approved area so will not require temporary customs approvals. Pipeline operators will receive full customs approvals for January 2021.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what evidence will be required under the proposed Border Operating Model for companies to demonstrate a good compliance record enabling them to defer customs declarations.

The Government’s priority is to keep goods moving and avoid delays at the border. As the customs authority, HMRC will act to ensure that border processes are as smooth as possible, without compromising security. From 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 most traders importing non-controlled goods will be able to defer customs declarations for 180 days. Like importers of controlled goods, traders with a poor compliance record will not be allowed to defer declarations and must complete full customs declarations at the time of import.

HMRC is planning a package of activities to support and educate traders on their obligations during this period. HMRC will promote the keeping of good records, which will be crucial in minimising losses to error once supplementary declarations are made. HMRC will also have the power to ask for a trader’s records to check that they have made adequate entries.

HMRC has existing tools in place to tackle non-compliance. These tools include risk-based pre- and post-clearance checks, regular monitoring of high-risk traders and their supply chains and providing education to traders on risks and issues identified. Traders or individuals with a poor compliance history will be contacted by HMRC and will be instructed that they will not be able to defer declarations. The Government will publish further information on what constitutes a poor compliance history soon.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect on the adequacy of control over goods entering the UK of the proposed system for deferred declarations in locations without an existing control system.

The Government’s priority is to keep goods moving and avoid delays at the border. As the customs authority, HMRC will act to ensure that border processes are as smooth as possible, without compromising security. From 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 most traders importing non-controlled goods will be able to defer customs declarations for 180 days. Like importers of controlled goods, traders with a poor compliance record will not be allowed to defer declarations and must complete full customs declarations at the time of import.

HMRC is planning a package of activities to support and educate traders on their obligations during this period. HMRC will promote the keeping of good records, which will be crucial in minimising losses to error once supplementary declarations are made. HMRC will also have the power to ask for a trader’s records to check that they have made adequate entries.

HMRC has existing tools in place to tackle non-compliance. These tools include risk-based pre- and post-clearance checks, regular monitoring of high-risk traders and their supply chains and providing education to traders on risks and issues identified. Traders or individuals with a poor compliance history will be contacted by HMRC and will be instructed that they will not be able to defer declarations. The Government will publish further information on what constitutes a poor compliance history soon.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of traders who qualify for a Duty Deferment Account.

On 17 July 2020, HMRC held 13,026 live Duty Deferment Accounts (DDAs).

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Border Operating Model, published on 13 July 2020, what estimate he has made of the timescale for applying for a deferment account number.

HMRC are streamlining a number of their authorisation processes to make it quicker and easier for traders to use. New rules are being introduced to make it easier to access a Duty Deferment Account (DDA) at the end of the transition period. This means most businesses will be able to open DDAs without needing to provide a guarantee, unless they have a history of non-compliance or insolvency. Further detail on how these new rules will operate in practice will be provided in updated guidance in due course.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of traders who will need to obtain GB Economic Operator Registration and Identification numbers.

As of 12 July 2020, 241,018 businesses have registered for a UK EORI number since December 2018, including both VAT and non-VAT-registered businesses. This includes traders who were automatically issued a number. Over 700,000 UK EORI numbers have been issued in total.

Businesses who have yet to register can do so online. It is a simple process that only takes 10 minutes.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what processes have been put in place to manage an increase in applications for Economic Operator Registration and Identification numbers.

As of 12 July 2020, 241,018 businesses have registered for a UK EORI number since December 2018, including both VAT and non-VAT-registered businesses. This includes traders who were automatically issued a number. Over 700,000 UK EORI numbers have been issued in total.

Businesses who have yet to register can do so online. It is a simple process that only takes 10 minutes.

10th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 9 July 2020 to question 69523, how many of the covid-19 response funds and initiatives for which the UK is eligible under the Withdrawal Agreement the Government has applied for to date.

As the Withdrawal Agreement sets out, the UK is part of the EU budget for 2020 and will make contributions and receive receipts for the remainder of the year. Both the UK and the EU have confirmed that the UK has no liability to contribute to the wider €540bn package announced on 9 April. Additionally, the UK will not be exposed to liabilities in relation to the additional €750 billion which the Commission proposes to borrow on the capital markets from 2021-2024. The UK is supporting the EU's efforts to tackle coronavirus, and we'll meet our obligations through the Financial Settlement. But we do not intend to go beyond what we have agreed in the Withdrawal Agreement, because we have now left the EU.

The Government is considering the EU’s budgetary response to COVID-19, and our decision to participate in any cooperation efforts or schemes with the European Commission, and other European and international partners, will always be made on the basis of public health requirements at the time.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 9 July 2020 to Question 69523, which initiatives and funds which form part of the EU’s covid-19 response apply to the UK under the Withdrawal Agreement.

As the Withdrawal Agreement sets out, the UK is part of the EU budget for 2020 and will make contributions and receive receipts for the remainder of the year. Both the UK and the EU have confirmed that the UK has no liability to contribute to the wider €540bn package announced on 9 April. Additionally, the UK will not be exposed to liabilities in relation to the additional €750 billion which the Commission proposes to borrow on the capital markets from 2021-2024. The UK is supporting the EU's efforts to tackle coronavirus, and we'll meet our obligations through the Financial Settlement. But we do not intend to go beyond what we have agreed in the Withdrawal Agreement, because we have now left the EU.

The Government is considering the EU’s budgetary response to COVID-19, and our decision to participate in any cooperation efforts or schemes with the European Commission, and other European and international partners, will always be made on the basis of public health requirements at the time.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans the Government has to apply for funding proposed by the EU Commission for covid-19-related projects before the end of 2020.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for public services, workers and businesses to protect against the current economic emergency. Our economic response is one of the most generous and comprehensive globally and the Government is now working urgently to deliver these schemes as quickly as possible.

We’ve taken steps to make our schemes deliverable, fair and targeted at those who need it the most. These measures will support millions of families, businesses and self-employed people to get through this and emerge on the other side both stronger and more united.

Under the financial settlement in the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will continue to pay into EU programmes funded by the 2020 EU Budget, and benefit from our share of receipts, until the end of this year. This includes initiatives which form part of the EU’s Covid-19 response, although there are some new measures which do not apply to the UK under the Withdrawal Agreement. The Government is considering different funds on a case-by-case basis and will apply for funding where it is in the national interest to do so.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to extend the RTI Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme deadline for company directors on annual payroll schemes.

As office holders, salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme.

Directors paid annually are eligible to claim, as long as they meet the relevant conditions. These include being notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 which relates to a payment of earnings in the 2019/20 tax year.

This requirement is important in order to protect taxpayers’ money from fraudulent claims.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that taxpayers who are unable to make an application for the Self Employment Grant Scheme themselves can have their application submitted by a third party already appointed as their agent.

The new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) helps those adversely affected by COVID-19. By midnight 21 June 2020, HMRC had received 2.6m claims representing a total of £7.6bn claimed.

HMRC recognise the important role that agents play in supporting people who are self-employed. Due to the speed at which HMRC are delivering the SEISS it has not been possible to offer agents the ability to claim on behalf of their clients. However, the process has been designed to be as simple as possible, and HMRC do all the calculations for taxpayers.

Anyone who cannot apply online can contact HMRC by telephone to submit their claim.

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department is providing to (a) banks and (b) mortgage lenders on (i) EU Settled Status and (ii) accepting digital proof of that status.

We are enabling other government departments and public authorities to be able to automatically access immigration status information. Currently, this includes the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and NHS England and Wales.

The data made available is specific to the need of each department and contains only the necessary information to inform their decision making. By making data available in this way, we are reducing the number of occasions on which an individual has to prove their status in the UK. The Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Privacy Notice provides information about how we share data with other government departments.

When applying for banking services, all individuals are required to provide proof of their identity as part of anti-money laundering, regulatory ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) checks.

We have produced guidance for financial providers to help them understand the documents we issue, including eVisas, and how they can be used as proof of identity for the purposes of KYC checks. This can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/biometric-residence-documents-information-for-financial-providers

As detailed in this guidance, financial institutions can check someone’s identity, using the online ‘View and Prove’ service at:

https://www.gov.uk/check-immigration-status.

This enables checks to be conducted without physical documents changing hands or the checker having to assess the authenticity of the documents and whether the person presenting it is the rightful holder.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce the administrative requirements on EU citizens with Settled Status to prove their status without physical documentation when accessing essential services.

We are enabling other government departments and public authorities to be able to automatically access immigration status information. Currently, this includes the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and NHS England and Wales.

The data made available is specific to the need of each department and contains only the necessary information to inform their decision making. By making data available in this way, we are reducing the number of occasions on which an individual has to prove their status in the UK. The Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Privacy Notice provides information about how we share data with other government departments.

When applying for banking services, all individuals are required to provide proof of their identity as part of anti-money laundering, regulatory ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) checks.

We have produced guidance for financial providers to help them understand the documents we issue, including eVisas, and how they can be used as proof of identity for the purposes of KYC checks. This can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/biometric-residence-documents-information-for-financial-providers

As detailed in this guidance, financial institutions can check someone’s identity, using the online ‘View and Prove’ service at:

https://www.gov.uk/check-immigration-status.

This enables checks to be conducted without physical documents changing hands or the checker having to assess the authenticity of the documents and whether the person presenting it is the rightful holder.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2021 to Question 41845 on Deportation: Jamaica and Zimbabwe, whether any of the people deported on the charter flight to (a) Zimbabwe on 21 July 2021 and (b) Jamaica on 11 August 2021 or any of those who were scheduled for deportation on those two flights but were not placed on the planes on the day were under the age of 12 when they came to the UK.

I refer the Honourable Member to my response of 8 September 2021 (UIN: 41845).

We do not routinely comment on individual cases. As stated in my previous response, a person’s age upon arrival to the UK or their nationality are not automatic exceptions to deportation under the UK Borders Act 2007. These may be relevant factors when determining whether an exception applies and an Article 8 claim pursuant to the Immigration Rules. Those deported will have been provided with the opportunity to raise claims and all claims are fully considered and decided upon before deportation, including, where applicable, via the Courts. I will continue to remove dangerous criminals and those with no rights to be in the UK from the country.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to enable dual UK and EU citizens to travel to the UK on an EU member state passport without having to further prove their UK citizenship.

British citizens have a right of abode in the UK and do not require leave to enter.

Border Force Officers examine all arriving passengers to establish whether they are British citizens, whether they require leave to enter or if they are exempt from immigration control.

Where the passenger claims to be British, but does not hold any evidence of British citizenship, the officer will conduct all relevant checks to satisfy themselves the passenger is British

When dual nationals who are eligible to use e-gates travel to the UK, they will enter via the e-gates without being examined by an immigration officer.

We recommend all dual nationals, including EU citizens, travel on their British passport or with evidence or their British citizenship to minimise any potential delay at the border or when commencing their journey.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's definition is of serious offences; and if she will provide a list of offences in that category.

The definition of “serious offences” varies by context. The term is defined differently in different pieces of legislation. For Example: Schedule 1 to the Serious Crime Act 2007 is titled “Serious Offences” and includes a list of offences which are relevant to the Court’s consideration of whether a Serious Crime Prevention Order should be imposed on a person. The Children and Young Persons Act 1969 defines a “serious offence” for the purposes of that legislation as “an offence punishable in the case of an adult with imprisonment for a term of two years or more”.

This Government is steadfast in its approach to tackling crime. We have recently published the Beating Crime Plan, which reaffirms our manifesto commitment to cutting crime, protecting the public and increasing public confidence in the criminal justice system. It sets out our strategy for protecting the law-abiding majority, swiftly bringing criminals to justice and managing offenders with rigour and discipline. The full Plan is available on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/beating-crime-plan

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any of those people deported on the charter flight to (a) Zimbabwe on 21 July 2021 and (b) Jamaica on 11 August 2021 or any of those who were scheduled for deportation on those two flights but were not placed on the planes on the day were under the age of 12 when they came to the UK.

The Government is fully committed to discharging the obligation under the UK Borders Act 2007, which is that a non-British citizen convicted of an offence in the UK and sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment and to whom an exception does not apply is deported from the UK. A person’s age upon arrival to the UK or their nationality are not exceptions to automatic deportation, but may be relevant factors in considering whether an exception applies.

The length of time a person has lived in the UK, as well as the strength of their social, cultural and family ties to the UK, are factors considered when determining any Article 8 claim and whether there are very compelling circumstances which satisfy the requirements of the Immigration Rules. A foreign criminal is given the opportunity to make submissions as to why they should not be deported and all claims raised are fully considered and decided upon before deportation, including, where applicable, via the Courts.

We only return those with no legal right to remain in the UK, including foreign national offenders. Individuals are only returned to their country of origin when the Home Office and, where applicable, the Courts deem it is safe to do so.

Our priority will always be to keep our communities safe and since January 2019 we have removed 8,441 foreign criminals.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department’s policy is on how dual UK and EU citizens travelling on EU member states' passports to the UK should prove their UK citizenship.

British citizens, including those with dual citizenship, have a right of abode in the UK and do not require leave to enter.

Where the passenger presents a non-British passport and claims to be British, but does not hold any evidence of their citizenship, the officer will conduct all relevant checks to satisfy themselves the passenger is British

Dual nationals, including those who are EU citizens, who are eligible to use e-gates, will be able to enter via the e-gates without being routinely examined by an immigration officer.

We recommend all dual nationals, including EU citizens, travel on their British passport or with evidence or their British citizenship to minimise any potential delay at the border or when commencing their journey

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much the view and prove immigration status telephone line has charged callers inquiring about any aspect of their Settled Status or application for Settled Status (a) on average per day since that line opened, (b) in each of the last 30 days and (c) in total since that line opened.

EU citizens seeking support via the Support Resolution Centre can do so for free. The SRC has helped millions of people with their applications and continues to do so every day.

We identified a technical error on 20 July which meant a very small percentage of customers calling the UKVI Resolution Centre may have been charged. This technical issue was resolved by 17:00 on 20 July.

We are currently working with the supplier to identify any customers who were charged incorrectly and arrange refunds for these customers.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many refugees have come to the UK through the UK Resettlement Scheme in each month since February 2021.

The UK Resettlement Scheme commenced in March 2021, immediately following the successful completion of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. The UK Resettlement Scheme continues to successfully resettle refugees, as local authority and community sponsor capacity allows, and as we recover from the pandemic.

Statistics under the scheme are published through official statistics at quarterly intervals. The next set of statistics will be published in July and will include the number of people resettled since March. These are available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 12 March 2021 to Question 165514 on Migrants: Detainees, on what date she plans to publish the Action Access evaluation report.

We are working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Action Access and they have appointed the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to independently evaluate the pilot. NatCen will be publishing the evaluation on their website.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to make it easier for care workers to secure visas to work in the UK.

The Government recognises the vital contribution overseas NHS, health and social care workers have made and continue to make in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The introduction of the Health and Care visa last August made it quicker and cheaper for regulated health and care professionals – including Senior Care Workers - and their dependants to secure their visa.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Government has also extended the visas of over 10,000 key, frontline regulated health and care professionals, and their eligible family members. Details of the free extension, including the eligible occupations can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-health-worker-visa-extension.

In response to issues raised during the Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020, the Government will shortly commission an independent review of the impact of ending free movement on the care sector. This will be published in due course. Yet UK Immigration policy should not be viewed as an alternative to offering hard working care workers the type of rewarding packages and career development opportunities common in other sectors, especially at a time when many UK based workers may be looking for new opportunities as a result of the economic impacts of the global pandemic.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the impact of the end of free movement on the social care workforce.

The Government recognises the vital contribution overseas NHS, health and social care workers have made and continue to make in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The introduction of the Health and Care visa last August made it quicker and cheaper for regulated health and care professionals – including Senior Care Workers - and their dependants to secure their visa.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Government has also extended the visas of over 10,000 key, frontline regulated health and care professionals, and their eligible family members. Details of the free extension, including the eligible occupations can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-health-worker-visa-extension.

In response to issues raised during the Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020, the Government will shortly commission an independent review of the impact of ending free movement on the care sector. This will be published in due course. Yet UK Immigration policy should not be viewed as an alternative to offering hard working care workers the type of rewarding packages and career development opportunities common in other sectors, especially at a time when many UK based workers may be looking for new opportunities as a result of the economic impacts of the global pandemic.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June 2021 to Question 11536, how many applications to the EU Settlement Scheme have waited more than 12 months for a decision as at 1 June 2021.

The latest published information shows the total number of concluded applications to the EU Settlement scheme was 5.27 million up to 31 May 2021 out of a number of 5.61 million applications received.

The latest figures can be found on the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’ web page available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics

Applications concluded by month and decision type are published in the detailed quarterly release which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-march-2021

Our aim is to process all applications to the EU Settlement Scheme as expeditiously as possible. It usually takes around 5 working days for completed applications to be processed, but it can take longer if the Home Office needs to request more information, for example: if the applicant has submitted a paper application or if the applicant has a relevant criminal record, including pending prosecutions.

More information about processing times for applications under the scheme is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-application-processing-times/eu-settlement-scheme-pilot-current-expected-processing-times-for-applications

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June 2021 to Question 11535, how many applications to the EU Settlement Scheme have waited more than six months for a decision as at 1 June 2021.

The latest published information shows the total number of concluded applications to the EU Settlement scheme was 5.27 million up to 31 May 2021 out of a number of 5.61 million applications received.

The latest figures can be found on the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’ web page available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics

Applications concluded by month and decision type are published in the detailed quarterly release which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-march-2021

Our aim is to process all applications to the EU Settlement Scheme as expeditiously as possible. It usually takes around 5 working days for completed applications to be processed, but it can take longer if the Home Office needs to request more information, for example: if the applicant has submitted a paper application or if the applicant has a relevant criminal record, including pending prosecutions.

More information about processing times for applications under the scheme is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-application-processing-times/eu-settlement-scheme-pilot-current-expected-processing-times-for-applications

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June 2021 to Question 11534, how many applications to the EU Settlement Scheme have waited more than three months for a decision as at 1 June 2021.

The latest published information shows the total number of concluded applications to the EU Settlement scheme was 5.27 million up to 31 May 2021 out of a number of 5.61 million applications received.

The latest figures can be found on the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’ web page available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics

Applications concluded by month and decision type are published in the detailed quarterly release which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-march-2021

Our aim is to process all applications to the EU Settlement Scheme as expeditiously as possible. It usually takes around 5 working days for completed applications to be processed, but it can take longer if the Home Office needs to request more information, for example: if the applicant has submitted a paper application or if the applicant has a relevant criminal record, including pending prosecutions.

More information about processing times for applications under the scheme is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-application-processing-times/eu-settlement-scheme-pilot-current-expected-processing-times-for-applications

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications to the EU Settlement Scheme have waited more than twelve months for a decision as at 1 June 2021.

Our aim is to process all applications to the EU Settlement Scheme as expeditiously as possible. Complete applications are usually processed in around five working days.

More information about processing times for applications under the scheme is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-application-processing-times/eu-settlement-scheme-pilot-current-expected-processing-times-for-applications

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications to the EU Settlement Scheme have waited more than six months for a decision as at 1 June 2021.

Our aim is to process all applications to the EU Settlement Scheme as expeditiously as possible. Complete applications are usually processed in around five working days.

More information about processing times for applications under the scheme is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-application-processing-times/eu-settlement-scheme-pilot-current-expected-processing-times-for-applications

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications to the EU Settlement Scheme have waited more than three months for a decision as at 1 June 2021.

Our aim is to process all applications to the EU Settlement Scheme as expeditiously as possible. Complete applications are usually processed in around five working days.

More information about processing times for applications under the scheme is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-application-processing-times/eu-settlement-scheme-pilot-current-expected-processing-times-for-applications

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that no EU citizen who has lived in the UK for more than the five years required for Settled Status and is unable to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by the 30 June 2021 deadline because they were not aware of that scheme and deadline or did not realise they were required to apply will lose their status and rights.

The Home Office has received more than 5.4 million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme to 30 April 2021. Our focus remains on encouraging those EU citizens and their family members eligible for the scheme who have yet to apply to do so before the 30 June 2021 deadline for those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period.

We recently launched another marketing campaign for this purpose, bringing to £7.9 million our investment in such activity. The campaign highlights the significant support in applying to the scheme available to those who need it, including from the network of now 72 organisations across the UK, grant funded by the Home Office with £22 million to help vulnerable people apply.

In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, we have made clear where a person eligible for status under the scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline, they will be given a further opportunity to apply. The non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for submitting a late application we published on 1 April 2021 includes where there are compelling practical or compassionate reasons why a person may have been unaware of the requirement to apply to the scheme by the deadline or may have failed to do so.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to make the (a) possession and (b) recreational use of nitrous oxide an offence.

No assessment has been made of the merits of making possession or use of nitrous oxide an offence. The Government takes seriously the harms relating to psychoactive substances such as nitrous oxide and it will continue to keep this issue under review and to consider any new or emerging evidence.

The supply of substances for their psychoactive effect is an offence. There are legitimate uses for nitrous oxide, such as in medicine, dentistry and as a propellant for whipped cream canisters, but those who supply nitrous oxide who know, or who are reckless as to whether, it will be used for its psychoactive effect may be subject to a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether EU citizens who miss the EU Settlement Scheme deadline of 30 June 2021 because they are unaware of the scheme or that deadline but have no additional vulnerabilities will be eligible for late application.

In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, the Government has made clear where a person eligible for status under the EU Settlement Scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications by those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

Non-exhaustive guidance on what constitutes reasonable grounds for missing the deadline can be found at pages 26 to 44 of the caseworker guidance, EU Settlement Scheme: EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, which is available here:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-caseworker-guidance.

This includes where there are compelling practical or compassionate reasons why a person may have been unaware of the requirement to apply to the scheme by the deadline or may have failed to do so, or where a person with a residence document issued under the EEA Regulations was not aware they needed to apply to the scheme.

The guidance will be kept under ongoing review and updated as appropriate. It will underpin a flexible and pragmatic approach to considering late applications under the scheme, in light of the circumstances of each case.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to update the guidance, EU Settlement Scheme: EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, which was last published on 6 April 2021.

In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, the Government has made clear where a person eligible for status under the EU Settlement Scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline for applications by those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

Non-exhaustive guidance on what constitutes reasonable grounds for missing the deadline can be found at pages 26 to 44 of the caseworker guidance, EU Settlement Scheme: EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, which is available here:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-caseworker-guidance.

This includes where there are compelling practical or compassionate reasons why a person may have been unaware of the requirement to apply to the scheme by the deadline or may have failed to do so, or where a person with a residence document issued under the EEA Regulations was not aware they needed to apply to the scheme.

The guidance will be kept under ongoing review and updated as appropriate. It will underpin a flexible and pragmatic approach to considering late applications under the scheme, in light of the circumstances of each case.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to publish the New Plan for Immigration's evidential annex.

A consultation process is underway, from which we hope to draw further insights and evidence to inform our thinking. As is routine, an impact assessment will be published alongside the introduction of any Bill.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to expand youth mobility schemes.

We have indicated our intention to continue operating and further expanding our youth mobility arrangements to additional countries.

Each Youth Mobility Scheme is subject to a bilateral, reciprocal agreement which also provides benefit to UK Nationals, with the detail negotiated and agreed between the relevant parties.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2021 to Question 155013 on Graduates: Visas, for what reason people on a Tier 2 visa route cannot use time spent in the UK under a previous Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa to contribute towards their continuous residence requirement.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) was a temporary route designed to enable graduates to bridge the gap between studies and the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)/ Innovator routes.

Time spent on temporary immigration routes do not lead to settlement, so would only contribute to meeting a continuous requirement under the provision for long term residents. This approach is consistent with other temporary routes.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of enabling international students who have completed their studies and whose Tier 4 visa leave expires ahead of 1 July 2021 to submit an early application to the Graduate Route opening on that date.

Those whose permission expires prior to the launch of the route will not be eligible, but will still benefit from the favourable switching provisions into the Skilled Worker route.

The Doctorate Extension Scheme for PhD students will remain open up until the launch of the new route.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Tier 2 (General) working visas have been issued in each of the last 24 months.

The Home Office publishes data on Tier 2 (General) visas in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’.

Data on the number of Tier 2 (General) visas are published in table Vis_D02 of the entry clearance visas applications and outcomes dataset. Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook.

The latest data relates to year ending December 2020. Data for the first quarter of 2021 are due to be published on 27 May 2021.

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

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of applications to the EU Settlement Scheme in (a) each of the last 12 months and (b) total have been granted pre-settled status.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of applications to the EU Settlement Scheme in (a) each of the last 12 months and (b) total have been granted settled status.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications have been granted pre-settled status in (a) each of the last 12 months and (b) total under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications have been granted Settled Status in (a) each of the last 12 months and (b) total under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications have been received under the EU Settlement Scheme in (a) each of the last 12 months and (b) total.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons her Department has cancelled the two pilot schemes offering an alternative to immigration detention.

As part of the Department’s immigration detention reform programme, we are conducting a series of two pilots exploring alternatives to detention. In line with international best practice, each pilot will run for two years, before a final evaluation

The first of these pilots, Action Access, has provided women who would otherwise be detained with a programme of support in the community. This pilot will conclude on 31 March 2021 after operating for two years, as planned. The second pilot, the Refugee and Migrant Advisory Service, is currently supporting both men and women in the community and will remain in operation until June 2022

We are working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on these pilots and they have appointed the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to independently evaluate this work. These evaluations will be published, with the evaluation report of the Action Access pilot scheduled for early Summer 2021. We will use the evaluations of these pilots to inform our future approach to case-management focused alternatives to detention.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason continuous residence in the UK under a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneurship) visa does not count towards the five years continuous residency condition for indefinite leave to remain.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) was a temporary route designed to enable graduates to bridge the gap between studies and the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)/ Innovator routes.

As a temporary route it did not lead to settlement and any time spent on this route would only contribute to meeting a continuous requirement under the provision for long term residents.

Individuals on the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route are able to switch into either the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) or Innovator routes at any point during their permission and start their journey to settlement.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many crimes were recorded in 2020 where (a) the perpetrator was a woman and (b) gambling was identified as a relevant factor.

The Home Office collects data on crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales but information on whether the perpetrator was a woman and if gambling was identified as a relevant factor are not held centrally.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many crimes were recorded in 2020 where (a) problem gambling, or (b) circumstances relating to problem gambling were determined as a relevant factor.

While the Home Office collects data on crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales , information on whether or not the crime was related to problem gambling behaviour or related circumstances are not collected.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with representatives from the music, cultural and performing industries on an EU-wide permit for touring and performing; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office engaged regularly with the creative sector as the plans for the UK’s new immigration system were developed, this was focused upon the UK’s inward offer for creatives travelling to the UK.

Officials and Ministers in DCMS have engaged with the sector extensively throughout negotiations and since the announcement of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement to understand the diverse circumstances of companies, organisations and individual practitioners and how they may need to adapt as they plan activity across the European Union.

DCMS will continue to work closely with the sector, including with representative organisations, to ensure businesses and individuals have the advice and guidance they need to meet new requirements. Touring artists should always check individual member state requirements as these differ across different countries.

The Government knows while leaving the EU will bring changes and new processes to touring and working in the EU, it will also bring new opportunities. In all circumstances, we expect UK musicians’ work to continue to be an export highly valued in the European Union as it is across the world.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to request access to the Schengen Information System SIS II.

The UK has secured an agreement with the EU delivering a comprehensive package of capabilities relating to law enforcement and criminal justice co-operation. This will ensure we can continue to work with counterparts across Europe to tackle serious crime and terrorism - helping to protect the public and bring criminals to justice.

Sadly the EU took the position throughout the negotiations that it was legally impossible for any third country outside the Schengen area to continue cooperating through SIS II. We have therefore returned to tried and tested mechanisms of cooperation via Interpol and bilateral channels, which we already use with the rest of the world – and which we used with EU Member States until 2015. All incoming Interpol circulations (notices and diffusions) are available at the front line via UK border and policing systems. In addition to over 150,000 Interpol nominal circulations, the UK has direct access to 90 million suspect document records.

Our assessment is the UK was a safe country before joining SIS II in 2015 and we will continue to be one of the safest countries in the world, with border security set to be enhanced by our decision to end the use of EEA National ID Cards at the UK Border later this year.

The Government is investing in longer-term technical capabilities to support law enforcement data sharing by developing a single technical mechanism for law enforcement agencies to access and share alerts related to people, documents and objects with international partners on a reciprocal basis. The programme is at an early stage of development.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to put in place a real-time data alert system to replace SIS II; and what the planned timescale is for that alert system to be operational.

The UK has secured an agreement with the EU delivering a comprehensive package of capabilities relating to law enforcement and criminal justice co-operation. This will ensure we can continue to work with counterparts across Europe to tackle serious crime and terrorism - helping to protect the public and bring criminals to justice.

Sadly the EU took the position throughout the negotiations that it was legally impossible for any third country outside the Schengen area to continue cooperating through SIS II. We have therefore returned to tried and tested mechanisms of cooperation via Interpol and bilateral channels, which we already use with the rest of the world – and which we used with EU Member States until 2015. All incoming Interpol circulations (notices and diffusions) are available at the front line via UK border and policing systems. In addition to over 150,000 Interpol nominal circulations, the UK has direct access to 90 million suspect document records.

Our assessment is the UK was a safe country before joining SIS II in 2015 and we will continue to be one of the safest countries in the world, with border security set to be enhanced by our decision to end the use of EEA National ID Cards at the UK Border later this year.

The Government is investing in longer-term technical capabilities to support law enforcement data sharing by developing a single technical mechanism for law enforcement agencies to access and share alerts related to people, documents and objects with international partners on a reciprocal basis. The programme is at an early stage of development.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made on the effect of losing access to SIS II on the effectiveness of border security.

The UK has secured an agreement with the EU delivering a comprehensive package of capabilities relating to law enforcement and criminal justice co-operation. This will ensure we can continue to work with counterparts across Europe to tackle serious crime and terrorism - helping to protect the public and bring criminals to justice.

Sadly the EU took the position throughout the negotiations that it was legally impossible for any third country outside the Schengen area to continue cooperating through SIS II. We have therefore returned to tried and tested mechanisms of cooperation via Interpol and bilateral channels, which we already use with the rest of the world – and which we used with EU Member States until 2015. All incoming Interpol circulations (notices and diffusions) are available at the front line via UK border and policing systems. In addition to over 150,000 Interpol nominal circulations, the UK has direct access to 90 million suspect document records.

Our assessment is the UK was a safe country before joining SIS II in 2015 and we will continue to be one of the safest countries in the world, with border security set to be enhanced by our decision to end the use of EEA National ID Cards at the UK Border later this year.

The Government is investing in longer-term technical capabilities to support law enforcement data sharing by developing a single technical mechanism for law enforcement agencies to access and share alerts related to people, documents and objects with international partners on a reciprocal basis. The programme is at an early stage of development.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many operations have been led by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority into agricultural locations under the Seasonal Workers’ Pilot scheme in each month from April 2019 to December 2020.

The responsibility for inspecting locations under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme and the Seasonal Worker’s Pilot sits with UK Visas and Immigration.

The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) accompanied UK Visas and Immigration on their inspections to provide them with information, advice and guidance.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many locations under the Seasonal Workers' Pilot scheme were inspected by UK Visas and Immigration in each month from April 2019 to December 2020; and in which of those instances UKVI was accompanied by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

The Home Office does not hold this data in a reportable format.

Information on broader Sponsorship activity can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsorship-transparency-data-november-2020

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (a) employed in 2019-20 and (b) employs in 2020-21; and how many of those staff were dedicated to working in Scotland in each of those years.

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority employed 144 staff in total in 2019-20. Two of these were based in Scotland. In 2020-21, GLAA employed 137 people in total.

One member of staff is based in Scotland. Further staff are available from other enforcement and compliance teams to support work in Scotland through the GLAA’s tasking and co-ordination process.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many operations were (a) carried out and (b) led by the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority into locations covered by the Seasonal Agricultural Workers' Scheme in each year from 2006 to 2013.

The responsibility for inspecting locations under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme and the Seasonal Worker’s Pilot sits with UK Visas and Immigration.

The Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) accompanied UK Visas and Immigration on their inspections to provide them with information, advice and guidance.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many labour providers supplying workers under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Scheme had their licenses revoked in each year from 2006 to 2013.

Unlike the current Seasonal Workers Pilot, the Scheme Operators for the old Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme were not subject to sponsor licencing requirements.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many workers were affected by breaches of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Scheme in each year from 2006 to 2013.

The Home Office does not hold this data in a reportable format.

Information on broader historical SAWS activity can be found at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/257242/migrant-seasonal-workers.pdf

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment her Department has made of the potential barriers to restarting the UK's refugee resettlement scheme.

The UK is one of the world’s leading refugee resettlement states. Over recent years the Home Office has worked in partnership with UNHCR and other resettlement states to increase global resettlement capacity, including through leading various international fora. We have also provided direct advice and assistance to a number of states, supporting them to start, expand or develop their own resettlement schemes.

Alongside our international work, we have also been working closely with our key domestic stakeholders on plans to safely resume UK resettlement arrivals against the backdrop of unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of this work, and as announced by Baroness Williams of Trafford in the House of Lords on 9 November, the UK will shortly restart UK resettlement arrivals to fulfil our commitment of resettling 20,000 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and we are working closely with partners to deliver this commitment.

Decisions regarding resettlement beyond the completion of this scheme, including the number of refugees we plan to resettle, are yet to be made and will need to take account of the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing pressures on the asylum system.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will increase the UK's resettlement target in 2021 in response to the reduced number of refugees resettled in 2020.

The UK is one of the world’s leading refugee resettlement states. Over recent years the Home Office has worked in partnership with UNHCR and other resettlement states to increase global resettlement capacity, including through leading various international fora. We have also provided direct advice and assistance to a number of states, supporting them to start, expand or develop their own resettlement schemes.

Alongside our international work, we have also been working closely with our key domestic stakeholders on plans to safely resume UK resettlement arrivals against the backdrop of unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of this work, and as announced by Baroness Williams of Trafford in the House of Lords on 9 November, the UK will shortly restart UK resettlement arrivals to fulfil our commitment of resettling 20,000 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and we are working closely with partners to deliver this commitment.

Decisions regarding resettlement beyond the completion of this scheme, including the number of refugees we plan to resettle, are yet to be made and will need to take account of the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing pressures on the asylum system.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with her international counterparts on increasing the global number of refugee resettlement places.

The UK is one of the world’s leading refugee resettlement states. Over recent years the Home Office has worked in partnership with UNHCR and other resettlement states to increase global resettlement capacity, including through leading various international fora. We have also provided direct advice and assistance to a number of states, supporting them to start, expand or develop their own resettlement schemes.

Alongside our international work, we have also been working closely with our key domestic stakeholders on plans to safely resume UK resettlement arrivals against the backdrop of unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of this work, and as announced by Baroness Williams of Trafford in the House of Lords on 9 November, the UK will shortly restart UK resettlement arrivals to fulfil our commitment of resettling 20,000 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and we are working closely with partners to deliver this commitment.

Decisions regarding resettlement beyond the completion of this scheme, including the number of refugees we plan to resettle, are yet to be made and will need to take account of the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing pressures on the asylum system.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time is for the Home Office Employers Checking Service to respond to requests by employers for confirmation of an employee's eligibility to work.

The information is not available in the format requested and could only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 17 November 2020 to Question 111491, what criteria her Department is using to assess when it is safe to resume refugee resettlement activity.

Subsequent to the Honourable Member's question of 4 November, I am pleased to say that, as announced by Baroness Williams of Trafford in the House of Lords on 9 November, the UK will shortly restart resettlement arrivals to fulfil our commitment of resettling 20,000 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and we are working closely with partners to deliver this commitment.

Due to the lead times for refugee arrivals, it is likely that we will see most refugees start to arrive early in the new year

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to restart refugee resettlement programmes.

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) related restrictions and pressures, both overseas and in the UK, resettlement activity is currently paused. We continue to evaluate how to respond given these restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe to do so

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, under what legislation EU nationals in the UK have the right to maintain the same level of access to benefit payments as comparable UK nationals after the end of the transition period.

The Government has protected the rights of EEA citizens, and their family members, resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 through the enactment of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 and the establishment of the EU Settlement Scheme under Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules. The scheme provides a simple means for those who are eligible to secure their immigration status in UK law.

Those who obtain pre-settled status or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are able to access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis as currently applies under free movement rules. Where a person already holds another form of limited leave to enter or remain that allows recourse to public funds, for example discretionary leave, the Immigration Rules (HC 813) make provision for a late application to the scheme. Such an application must be made before the expiry of that leave unless there are reasonable grounds for failure to do so.

Parliament has approved the Citizens’ Rights (Application Deadline and Temporary Protection) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. These regulations protect existing relevant EU law rights for those EEA citizens and their family members who are lawfully resident in the UK at the end of the transition period but who have yet to obtain status under the EU Settlement Scheme, until the final determination of an application to the scheme made by the deadline of 30 June 2021. This ensures there is no change to their current rights while they make their application. Regulations to be made under clause 4 of the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, subject to its enactment, will contain provisions to ensure those with pre-settled status are treated in the same way after the end of the transition period as they are now for the purposes of accessing benefits and services.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to allow EU nationals with limited leave to remain in the UK and who are accessing public funds to gain pre-settled status without losing their access to public funds.

The Government has protected the rights of EEA citizens, and their family members, resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 through the enactment of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 and the establishment of the EU Settlement Scheme under Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules. The scheme provides a simple means for those who are eligible to secure their immigration status in UK law.

Those who obtain pre-settled status or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are able to access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis as currently applies under free movement rules. Where a person already holds another form of limited leave to enter or remain that allows recourse to public funds, for example discretionary leave, the Immigration Rules (HC 813) make provision for a late application to the scheme. Such an application must be made before the expiry of that leave unless there are reasonable grounds for failure to do so.

Parliament has approved the Citizens’ Rights (Application Deadline and Temporary Protection) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. These regulations protect existing relevant EU law rights for those EEA citizens and their family members who are lawfully resident in the UK at the end of the transition period but who have yet to obtain status under the EU Settlement Scheme, until the final determination of an application to the scheme made by the deadline of 30 June 2021. This ensures there is no change to their current rights while they make their application. Regulations to be made under clause 4 of the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, subject to its enactment, will contain provisions to ensure those with pre-settled status are treated in the same way after the end of the transition period as they are now for the purposes of accessing benefits and services.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to allow EU nationals with discretionary leave to remain in the UK to gain pre-settled status without losing their access to public funds.

The Government has protected the rights of EEA citizens, and their family members, resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 through the enactment of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 and the establishment of the EU Settlement Scheme under Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules. The scheme provides a simple means for those who are eligible to secure their immigration status in UK law.

Those who obtain pre-settled status or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are able to access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis as currently applies under free movement rules. Where a person already holds another form of limited leave to enter or remain that allows recourse to public funds, for example discretionary leave, the Immigration Rules (HC 813) make provision for a late application to the scheme. Such an application must be made before the expiry of that leave unless there are reasonable grounds for failure to do so.

Parliament has approved the Citizens’ Rights (Application Deadline and Temporary Protection) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. These regulations protect existing relevant EU law rights for those EEA citizens and their family members who are lawfully resident in the UK at the end of the transition period but who have yet to obtain status under the EU Settlement Scheme, until the final determination of an application to the scheme made by the deadline of 30 June 2021. This ensures there is no change to their current rights while they make their application. Regulations to be made under clause 4 of the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, subject to its enactment, will contain provisions to ensure those with pre-settled status are treated in the same way after the end of the transition period as they are now for the purposes of accessing benefits and services.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the covid-19 risks of her Department resuming its requirement for asylum seekers to attend reporting centres.

Immigration Enforcement recommenced face to face reporting in July and August for limited, priority cohorts of people. We have implemented Safe Systems of Working (SSOW) and Risk Assessments in all our Reporting Centres where we have put in place robust social distancing measures; health screening questions are asked as a person enters; face masks are offered to those who have travelled without them; and sanitiser stations are placed throughout our buildings. We continue to review our current reporting arrangements in line with any new local and national COVID restrictions that are put in place.

Before inviting individuals into reporting, case owners will make an assessment based on the harm that those who are Foreign National Offenders may pose to the public, as well as the vulnerability and personal circumstances of all of those we ask to report. We continue to keep in contact with the overall reporting population by telephone to update individuals on the current reporting position. An SMS text or email/letter is sent to those required to recommence reporting informing them of the date and time they should report, along with relevant advice on COVID. We have also updated the reporting pages on GOV.UK for those who report and their representatives. This information includes how to travel most safely by public transport, avoiding both busy transport hubs and traveling at peak times; advice on reporting alone where possible; and what to do if those reporting have symptoms or are shielding.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce the need for vulnerable asylum seekers to travel for appointments and reporting requirements during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office takes the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously and has already put in place a range of measures to support asylum applicants affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

In line with the Home Office’ commitment to protect the health and wellbeing of its staff and applicants as a top priority, we have introduced regional intake units to allow asylum claims to be registered in a safe way that adheres to social distancing guidance and minimises travel.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when expedited services will resume for visa and settlement applications.

Priority services have resumed in some locations.

The resumption of priority services in specific locations remains under review and services will be reintroduced on a phased basis where they can be delivered. This is dependent on various factors including the easing of local restrictions relating to Covid-19 and courier delivery services.

UKVI continues to keep this position under review and will publicise any changes to services.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to allow the resumption of appointments for EU citizens to scan ID documents as part of applications to the EU Settlement Scheme as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Home Office support services and application routes have all fully reopened in line with public health guidance. However, some face-to-face support services are provided by our delivery partners. The scanning service is provided by Local Authorities who will review and assess the safe provision and resumption of the service. The Home Office and our delivery partners are keeping this situation under constant review and will endeavour to reinstate all services to their original capacity in line with public health guidance.

Despite this there are multiple ways applicants can have their identity documents checked as part of the application process, including using the EU Exit: ID Document Check smartphone app or by posting identity documents to the Home Office.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of moorland fires caused by BBQs from May to August 2020.

The Home Office publishes figures on accidental primary fires started by barbecues in table FIRE0605, available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#cause-of-fire. The data is available from 2010/11 to 2018/19. 2019/20 data will be published on 2 October 2020. Data for May to August 2020 will be published in Autumn 2021.

In 2018/19, there were 90 accidental outdoor primary fires started by barbecues in England.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to regularly publish data on the number of victims of modern slavery in immigration detention.

The Home Office currently publishes a range of data on immigration detention. This covers people detained under immigration powers and includes information such as nationality, age, sex, place and length of detention, cost of detention, pregnancy in detention and reports made by a medical practitioner under rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001.

Following the then Home Secretary’s statement in Parliament in July 2018, which committed to publishing more data on immigration detention, the Home Office have since been undertaking a review. This review is still ongoing and will consider all elements of data important to the Home Office and the Public.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her letter of 29 April 2020 to the Home Affairs Committee on visa extensions for care workers and NHS staff, when she plans to publish detailed guidance on her commitment that dependants of NHS workers who die from Covid-19 will be granted immediate indefinite leave to remain without a requirement to pay a fee.

As set out in the Home Secretary’s letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee dated 29 April, we will grant immediate Indefinite Leave to Remain to families of frontline NHS health workers who die as a result of contracting Coronavirus. UK Visas and Immigration will work with NHS Trusts and employers across the whole of the UK to identify dependants in this tragic position. Details of immigration changes relating to COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-immigration-and-borders.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the proposed electronic system for registering marriages will provide for the inclusion of the details of both parents on marriage certificates.

The Home Office is currently working on implementation plans to introduce the provisions in The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc) Act 2019.

This will facilitate an update of the marriage entry to include the names of both parents of a couple.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to answer Question 14690 tabled on 10 February 2020 by the hon. Member for Sheffield Central.

The reponse for UIN 14690 was given on 3rd July 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the closure of immigration routes to lower paid work on levels of labour market abuse and exploitation.

The Government has been clear free movement is ending and a new immigration system will be introduced from January 2021.

The Government is committed to eradicating exploitation across all sectors of the labour market and migrant workers are no exception.

The focus of the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) is on protecting vulnerable and exploited workers, who can raise concerns in confidence with the GLAA through their telephone line.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that migrant workers can report labour market abuse to the police and other labour enforcement agencies without their details being passed to immigration enforcement.

The Government has been clear free movement is ending and a new immigration system will be introduced from January 2021.

The Government is committed to eradicating exploitation across all sectors of the labour market and migrant workers are no exception.

The focus of the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) is on protecting vulnerable and exploited workers, who can raise concerns in confidence with the GLAA through their telephone line.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans undertake a review the classification of non-supervisory care work as low-skilled work.

The classification of the skill level of jobs is based upon advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

The MAC has been clear immigration is not the solution to addressing staffing levels in the social care sector.

The Government is working alongside employers to ensure the workforce has the right number of people to meet increasing demands and have recently launched a national recruitment campaign for Social Care.

Senior care workers who meet the criteria will be able to come to the UK through the points-based system.

We are also providing councils with access to an additional £1.5 billion for adults and children’s social care in 2020-21.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to expand the UK’s youth mobility arrangements to EU countries after the transition period.

The UK currently has youth mobility arrangements with eight countries and territories, resulting in around 20,000 young people coming to the UK each year.

We remain open to concluding further youth mobility arrangements.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 13 February 2020 to Question 14691 on immigration: EU Nationals, how many share codes have been requested in each month since the EU Settlement Scheme became operational.

Individuals granted pre-settled or settled status have had the option within the ‘view and prove your settled or pre-settled status’ service to share their status information for a variety of reasons since 30th September 2019. This is done by generating a ‘share code’ which can be given to a third party to provide them with time-limited access to the data. One of these options (‘work in the UK’) takes users to a separate Home Office service, which can also be used by individuals who have not been through the EU Settlement Scheme (holders of Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) and Biometric Residence Cards (BRC)).

The ability to share information via the online service(s) is entirely optional; EEA nationals can continue to rely on their passports or national ID cards until 30 June 2021 to evidence their rights in the UK but can choose to use the online service if they wish. Those with a BRP/C can also continue to rely on their physical cards.

While data relating to number of share codes generated is captured for internal purposes, this is not representative of the number of times users have shared their status information. Data on the number of views of a person’s status by third parties gives a more accurate reflection of checks carried out, and this is intended to be included when data on usage is published.

Data on usage of the ‘view and prove’ service is intended to be published as part of the Home Office Transparency Data. The data will be published once we are content it is robust and of sufficient quality, having been through our assurance processes, which should be before the end of the year.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 13 February 2020 to Question 14691 on Immigration: EU Nationals, by what date his Department will have published data on usage of the view and prove service.

Individuals granted pre-settled or settled status have had the option within the ‘view and prove your settled or pre-settled status’ service to share their status information for a variety of reasons since 30th September 2019. This is done by generating a ‘share code’ which can be given to a third party to provide them with time-limited access to the data. One of these options (‘work in the UK’) takes users to a separate Home Office service, which can also be used by individuals who have not been through the EU Settlement Scheme (holders of Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) and Biometric Residence Cards (BRC)).

The ability to share information via the online service(s) is entirely optional; EEA nationals can continue to rely on their passports or national ID cards until 30 June 2021 to evidence their rights in the UK but can choose to use the online service if they wish. Those with a BRP/C can also continue to rely on their physical cards.

While data relating to number of share codes generated is captured for internal purposes, this is not representative of the number of times users have shared their status information. Data on the number of views of a person’s status by third parties gives a more accurate reflection of checks carried out, and this is intended to be included when data on usage is published.

Data on usage of the ‘view and prove’ service is intended to be published as part of the Home Office Transparency Data. The data will be published once we are content it is robust and of sufficient quality, having been through our assurance processes, which should be before the end of the year.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to page 4 of the the Government's UK points based immigration system policy statement, whether the initiatives being brought forward for NHS workers will include care workers.

We will deliver on the people’s priorities by introducing a new NHS Visa for certain qualified health professionals, offering fast-track entry, reduced visa fees and dedicated support to come to the UK with their families.

Care workers who meet the relevant criteria, including a skills and salary threshold, with a confirmed job offer working for the NHS or providing services to the NHS, will be able to benefit from this offer.

Further details will be published in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to bring forward the regulations necessary to introduce an electronic registration system for marriages.

The General Register Office (GRO) is currently working on the secondary legislation, IT systems and administrative processes that are required to implement the marriage schedule system.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason her Department did not include the right to rent in the UK in the list of options for a person with (a) settled and (b) pre-settled status to choose from when requesting a share code and in answer to the question, why are you proving your status.

The Home Office is planning to launch an online right to rent status checking service later this year.

The new online service will enable EEA nationals granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme, and non-EEA nationals with biometric residence permits and cards to demonstrate their right to rent.

The online right to rent checking service will build on the general launch of the ‘View and prove your settled or pre-settled status’ service for those granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the answer of 1 November 2019 to Question 6360 on Immigration: EU Nationals, whether she plans to maintain the funding allocated to voluntary and community organisations throughout the UK to enable them to mobilise services targeted at vulnerable EU citizens beyond the end of March 2020.

The current grant funding scheme continues until the end of March 2020, and the Home Office is currently exploring options for the financial year of 2020/21.

As well as providing funding for charities which have supported hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people, there are more than 1,500 Home Office staff working on the EU Settlement Scheme and 250 Settlement Resolution Centre staff providing assistance to applicants with any questions about the scheme or who need help applying.

Additional support is also available to those EU citizens in the UK who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to apply. This includes over 300 assisted digital locations across the UK where people can be supported through their application.

There have been more than 3 million applications and 2.7 million granted status under the EU Settlement scheme.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people granted (a) pre-settled status and (b) settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme have requested a share code in each month since the that scheme became operational.

Individuals granted pre-settled or settled status have had the option within the ‘view and prove your settled or pre-settled status’ service to share their status information for a variety of reasons since 30th September 2019. This is done by generating a ‘share code’ which can be given to a third party to provide them with time-limited access to the data. One of these options (‘work in the UK’) takes users to a separate Home Office service, which can also be used by individuals who have not been through the EU Settlement Scheme (holders of Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) and Biometric Residence Cards (BRC)).

The ability to share information via the online service(s) is entirely optional; EEA nationals can continue to rely on their passports or national ID cards until at least December 2020 to evidence their rights in the UK but can choose to use the online service if they wish. Those with a BRP/C can also continue to rely on their physical cards.

Data is collected on usage of the service for internal purposes, to help us make improvements to the service, and to inform how it is performing. Data relates to number of views on the service, rather than unique users, and it is not currently possible to identify whether those who go on to share their status have settled or pre-settled status.

Data on usage on the ‘view and prove’ service more generally will be published later this year, as part of the Home Office Transparency Data.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people with (a) settled and (b) pre-settled status have cited (a) work in the UK, (b) get hospital treatment, (c) claim benefits or tax credits, (d) get homelessness assistance or council housing, (e) open a bank or building society account, (f) get a loan or credit card, (g) another reason as their reason for requesting a share code to prove their status in each month since the EU settlement scheme became operational.

Individuals granted pre-settled or settled status have had the option within the ‘view and prove your settled or pre-settled status’ service to share their status information for a variety of reasons since 30th September 2019. This is done by generating a ‘share code’ which can be given to a third party to provide them with time-limited access to the data. One of these options (‘work in the UK’) takes users to a separate Home Office service, which can also be used by individuals who have not been through the EU Settlement Scheme (holders of Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) and Biometric Residence Cards (BRC)).

The ability to share information via the online service(s) is entirely optional; EEA nationals can continue to rely on their passports or national ID cards until at least December 2020 to evidence their rights in the UK but can choose to use the online service if they wish. Those with a BRP/C can also continue to rely on their physical cards.

Data is collected on usage of the service for internal purposes, to help us make improvements to the service, and to inform how it is performing. Data relates to number of views on the service, rather than unique users, and it is not currently possible to identify whether those who go on to share their status have settled or pre-settled status.

Data on usage on the ‘view and prove’ service more generally will be published later this year, as part of the Home Office Transparency Data.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been prosecuted under section 21 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 since July 2016.

Since July 2016, under section 21 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 there have been 3 people prosecuted.

Immigration Enforcement will review investigations into employers on a case by case basis to see whether a civil penalty is a more appropriate course of action rather than a criminal prosecution. Where there are no aggravating factors, it is more likely that civil penalty action will be undertaken to enforce compliance.

Data on the number of penalties issued under section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, and the total value of those penalties are published on gov.uk. A total of 5,856 civil penalties were issued between July 2016 and June 2019, with a total value of £100.1m.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many civil penalties have been issued under section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 since July 2016; what the total value is of those penalties; and how much has been collected of that total to date.

Data on the number of penalties issued under section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, and the total value of those penalties are published on gov.uk. The latest published figures up to the end of June 2019 can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-august-2019.

A total of 5,856 civil penalties were issued between July 2016 and June 2019, with a total value of £100.1m.

The Home Office does not publish data on the total amount collected.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 5 November 2019 to Question 4998 on Immigration: EU Nationals, whether the Government plans to share information with an external organisation for any purpose other than verifying the authenticity of a document.

The Home Office is the data controller for all data processed within the EU Settlement Scheme. This includes where organisations are contracted to act on behalf of the Home Office. No other organisations have access to the personal information of applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Home Office may share information with other organisations, but only where the information needs to be shared and there is an appropriate legal basis for doing so.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 3 July 2019 to Question 269726 on Immigration: EU Nationals, what proportion of the 2% of people whom her Department estimated might benefit from tax credits data being included in those automated checks were (a) women and (b) men.

The analysis referenced in Written Answer 269726 was conducted against data which was anonymised. It is therefore it is not possible to answer the questioned posed.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether a person who meets the criteria for the EU Settlement Scheme but missed the deadline without a good reason will be eligible for settled or pre-settled status.

The Government has made clear that, where a person eligible for leave under the EU Settlement Scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the application deadline of 30 June 2021, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

As this is over 17 months away, our focus is on encouraging all those who need to apply to do so before the deadline. EU citizens can apply to the scheme, free of charge, simply by completing three key steps: proving their identity, showing that they live in the UK and declaring any criminal convictions. There is support available for any who need help in applying, including through the EU Settlement Resolution Centre, which is open seven days a week.

However, our compassionate and flexible approach will ensure that individuals who miss the deadline through no fault of their own can still obtain lawful status in the UK. We will publish clear guidance for caseworkers in due course to ensure consistency of approach.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Security and Deputy for EU Exit and No Deal Preparation of 7 January 2020, official report, column 320, whether the definition of a good reason to miss the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme will be the same as that set out in the guidance published by the Home Office on 5 August 2019 entitled Applications from overstayers, version 8.0.

The Government has made clear that, where a person eligible for leave under the EU Settlement Scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the application deadline of 30 June 2021, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

As this is over 17 months away, our focus is on encouraging all those who need to apply to do so before the deadline. EU citizens can apply to the scheme, free of charge, simply by completing three key steps: proving their identity, showing that they live in the UK and declaring any criminal convictions. There is support available for any who need help in applying, including through the EU Settlement Resolution Centre, which is open seven days a week.

However, our compassionate and flexible approach will ensure that individuals who miss the deadline through no fault of their own can still obtain lawful status in the UK. We will publish clear guidance for caseworkers in due course to ensure consistency of approach.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been arrested for immigration offences as part of Operation Nexus in each of the last three years.

Due to the way in which people are encountered and recorded when referred for enquiries on their immigration status, an immigration offence may not be immediately identifiable by the arresting or referring officer.

It is therefore not possible to provide accurate data in relation to the number of people arrested for immigration offences as part of Operation Nexus in each of the last three years.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Apr 2021
What recent steps his Department has taken to tackle regional inequality.

Government is tackling regional inequality through our commitment to level up all corners of the United Kingdom. Our actions include establishing the Levelling up Fund; the UK Community Renewal Fund; the Community Ownership Fund; creating Freeports whilst empowering our regions by devolving money, resources and control away from Westminster.

Alongside this, the Government has also committed over £35 billion to help councils support their communities and local businesses during the pandemic.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the extent of landlords and private letting agents refusing prospective tenants who are in receipt of support from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Department does not hold this information but there is no reason landlords or letting agents should be refusing tenants outright on the basis of being furloughed.

The Government has put in place an unprecedented financial package, which supports renters and helps them to afford their housing costs. This includes support for businesses to pay staff salaries through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has now been extended until the end of September 2021.

A letting agent is free to carry out any referencing checks within the law as they deem appropriate before accepting a new tenant. This may include income requirements or the need for a guarantor, depending on the decision of the individual landlord.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 November 2020 to Question 105417 on Night Shelters: Coronavirus, what written advice he received from Public Health England during the production of the operating principles for night shelters or as part of the Night Shelter working group; and if he will publish that advice.

I refer the Hon. Member to my previous answer to question 105417 on 5 November 2020.

20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 November 2020 to Question 105417 on Night Shelters: Coronavirus, if will publish the membership of the Night Shelter Working Group; and how many times that group has met in each of the last 12 months.

We worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) to provide Operating Principles for the sector, to help them open shelters as safely as possible where necessary, when self-contained accommodation cannot be made available and when local partners agree that it’s the right thing to do.

The Night Shelter Working Group membership included representation from PHE, the Department of Health and Social Care, Housing Justice, and Homeless Link. This group has been meeting regularly during the pandemic.

20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 November 2020 to Question 105417 on Night Shelters: Coronavirus, what estimate he has made of the cost per night shelter of transforming their traditional models to be covid-19-secure.

We worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) to provide Operating Principles for the sector, to help them open shelters as safely as possible where necessary, when self-contained accommodation cannot be made available and when local partners agree that it’s the right thing to do.

Faith and community groups provide a range of services through winter months and the costs associated with making changes to operate in a Covid-19 secure way may vary. We have announced funding that will give local areas the tools they need to support vulnerable rough sleepers this winter. Our £10 million Cold Weather Fund is available to all local authorities to help them to bring forward self-contained accommodation and to support rough sleepers off the streets. Meanwhile, our £2 million Transformation Fund will help move the faith and community sector a more innovative and Covid-secure options for those who use shelters.

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effectiveness of extending the December 2019 deadline for applications to the private sector ACM cladding remediation fund; and if he will make a statement.

Our priority is to enable residents to be safe and feel safe in their homes. We upheld the 31 December application deadline for the private sector Aluminium Composite Material cladding remediation fund in order to maintain pressure on the pace of remediation. Unless there are exceptional circumstances to justify a delay in making an application, those responsible for buildings should expect further action to be taken – including naming and shaming and enforcement.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when physical contact will be allowed between visitors and prisoners during visits as part of the easing of covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Whilst restrictions on physical contact are easing in the community, high-risk and closed environments like prisons, hospitals and care homes are still required to take extra measures to stop infections spreading. In England and Wales almost all establishments have now commenced delivery of Stage 3 of the National Framework, which allows for social visits with social distancing and face coverings. We are working with Public Health England and Public Health Wales to look at how we can take safe and incremental steps to improve the visits experience. We are acutely aware of the impact of this on prisoners and their loved ones, but social distancing will need to continue for now for most in-person visits to protect visitors and people in prisons.

Physical contact, however, is now allowed during prison visits for children aged under 11 to reflect public health advice on their needs and the relative transmission risks for that age group. In addition, two adults from two different households can now visit together, making it easier for prisoners to see more people.

A pilot scheme has been commenced involving six prisons, allowing physical contact for visitors who can confirm that they have tested negative on the day of the visit. The information we get from this pilot will aid our national plans for the safe provision of visits.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of gambling being recorded as a relevant factor, where appropriate, in Coroner's proceedings.

As set out in the response to the report by the House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry, Gambling Harm—Time for Action, the Government recognises that quality information on the circumstances leading to self-harm and suicide, including gambling issues, can support better interventions.

However, as the Committee observes, whilst a coroner may be made aware of information about the motivation or contributory factors in a suicide, it is generally beyond the coroner’s jurisdiction to determine why someone died, with the aim of the inquest being to determine who died, and how, when and where they died. This is for a number of reasons, including the fact that a coroner’s investigation is a fact-finding exercise and coroners are not permitted by statute to appear to determine any question of civil or criminal liability against another person.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people are serving (a) custodial and (b) suspended sentences where gambling has been identified as a relevant motivational factor in the offence.

Centrally held sentencing data does not identify where gambling, or any other factor, has been identified as a relevant motivational factor in the offence. The information may be held on court records but to be able to identify such cases would require accessing individual court records which would be of disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Apr 2021
What recent discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) the Scottish Government on preparations for COP26 in Glasgow.

Scotland Office Ministers are in regular discussions with Ministerial colleagues and the Scottish Government on the preparations for COP26 in Glasgow.

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State met the COP President last month and Scotland Office Ministers attended the COP26 Devolved Administration Ministerial Group.