Roger Gale Portrait

Roger Gale

Conservative - North Thanet

First elected: 9th June 1983


Select Committees
Panel of Chairs (since January 2020)
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee) (since March 2020)
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
31st Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Panel of Chairs
22nd Jun 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
28th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Panel of Chairs
26th Jun 1997 - 3rd May 2017
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Full Member)
23rd Jan 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Procedure Committee
11th Jun 2007 - 30th Mar 2015
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Substitute Member)
10th Nov 2010 - 23rd Jan 2012
Vice-Chair, Conservative Party
1st Aug 2001 - 31st Jul 2003
Home Affairs Committee
17th Jun 1987 - 16th Mar 1992
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Substitute Member)
1st Oct 1987 - 16th Nov 1989
Televising of Proceedings of the House
17th Jun 1987 - 16th Nov 1989


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 14th December 2022
Scotland’s Future
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 262 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 42 Noes - 265
Speeches
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
I call Martin Docherty-Hughes.
Written Answers
Tuesday 1st November 2022
Cyprus: Turkey
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, If he will discuss with his Turkish counterpart …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 20th July 2021
Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings (No. 2) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision to increase the minimum energy performance of buildings; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 23rd August 2021
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Royal and Ancient Golf Club
Address of donor: St Andrews, Fife KY16 9JA
Amount of donation or …
EDM signed
Tuesday 21st March 2017
SOCIAL SECURITY
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations 2017 (S.I., 2017, …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 26th October 2022
Consumer Telephone Service Standards Bill 2022-23
A Bill to provide for maximum waiting times for customers who are contacting providers of utilities and certain other services …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Roger Gale has voted in 448 divisions, and 20 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 253
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 341 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 351 Noes - 276
9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 354 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 363 Noes - 267
26 Jan 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 352 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 217 Noes - 360
26 Jan 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 356 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 221 Noes - 366
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 344 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 353 Noes - 277
7 Dec 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 346 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 357 Noes - 268
7 Dec 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 347 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 359 Noes - 55
4 Nov 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative No votes vs 330 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 331 Noes - 272
12 Oct 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 279
14 Sep 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 329 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 340 Noes - 263
20 Jul 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative Aye votes vs 323 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 263 Noes - 326
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 317 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 232 Noes - 321
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative Aye votes vs 316 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 254 Noes - 317
13 May 2020 - Remote Division result: New Clause 2 - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 326 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 277 Noes - 328
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 256
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
23 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 18 Conservative Aye votes vs 276 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 280
30 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Gale voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 10 Conservative No votes vs 243 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 249 Noes - 167
View All Roger Gale 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
Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)
(15 debate interactions)
Andrew Mitchell (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
(13 debate interactions)
Tom Tugendhat (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
(11 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(66 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(43 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Roger Gale's debates

North Thanet Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest North Thanet signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

Hundreds of thousands of people signed numerous petitions calling for actions that the Government has included in the Kept Animals Bill. The Government should urgently find time to allow the Bill to complete its journey through Parliament and become law.

There has been a significant increase in heart attacks and related health issues since the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines began in 2021. This needs immediate and full scientific investigation to establish if there is any possible link with the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.

The Government should bring forward legislation to allow assisted dying for adults who are terminally ill and have mental capacity. It should be permitted subject to strict upfront safeguards, assessed by two doctors independently, and self-administered by the dying person.

Every year across the UK, millions of farmed animals are kept in cages, unable to express their natural behaviours and experiencing huge suffering. These inhumane systems cannot be the future of British farming. The UK Government must legislate to ‘End the Cage Age’ for all farmed animals.

The Government must introduce legislation to abolish greyhound racing, via managed shutdown of activities, and ensure welfare of redundant dogs through a levy on the industry. In 2019 Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) data confirmed 4970 injuries & 710 deaths (14 per week).

Make it a legal requirement when opening a new social media account, to provide a verified form of ID. Where the account belongs to a person under the age of 18 verify the account with the ID of a parent/guardian, to prevent anonymised harmful activity, providing traceability if an offence occurs.

The Government needs to change the law so laboratory animals are included in the Animal Welfare Act. Laboratory animals are currently not protected by the Act and are therefore victims of 'unnecessary suffering' (see section 4 of the Act: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/45/section/4).

Given how many animals are sold online, we want Government to introduce regulation of all websites where animals are sold. Websites should be required to verify the identity of all sellers, and for young animals for sale pictures with their parents be posted with all listings.

Invest in FOP research to support this ultra-rare disease community. Research into FOP could inform the understanding/treatment of many more common conditions such as osteoporosis, hip replacements, DIPG (a rare childhood brain cancer) and many common military injuries.

Ensure Water companies treat the sewage they are responsible for. Not discharge it into rivers and water courses. After all what goes into the ocean comes back as the fish we eat.

We have the second most expensive childcare system in the world. A full time place costs, on average, £14,000 per year, making it completely unaffordable for many families. Parents are forced to leave their jobs or work fewer hours, which has a negative impact on the economy and on child poverty.

Now the hedgehog has been listed as vulnerable to extinction in the UK, we are calling on the Government to move hedgehogs to schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to allow them greater protection.

EU law recognises animals as sentient beings, aware of their feelings and emotions. Animals are at risk of losing these vital legal protections, post-Brexit. We want a BetterDealForAnimals: a law that creates a duty for all Ministers in the UK to fully regard animal welfare in policy making.


Latest EDMs signed by Roger Gale

21st March 2017
Roger Gale signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 21st March 2017

SOCIAL SECURITY

Tabled by: Ian Blackford (Scottish National Party - Ross, Skye and Lochaber)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations 2017 (S.I., 2017, No. 349), dated 9 March 2017, a copy of which was laid before this House on 13 March 2017, be annulled.
76 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Apr 2017)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 38
Labour: 25
Independent: 6
Conservative: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
9th March 2016
Roger Gale signed this EDM on Wednesday 16th March 2016

SOCIAL SECURITY

Tabled by: Ian Blackford (Scottish National Party - Ross, Skye and Lochaber)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations 2016 (S.I., 2016, No. 246), dated 25 February 2016, a copy of which was laid before this House on 1 March 2016, be annulled.
97 signatures
(Most recent: 18 Apr 2016)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 53
Labour: 18
Democratic Unionist Party: 7
Conservative: 6
Independent: 6
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Non-affiliated: 2
Ulster Unionist Party: 2
Plaid Cymru: 2
Green Party: 1
View All Roger Gale's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Roger Gale, 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 Roger Gale

Thursday 13th February 2020

Roger Gale has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Roger Gale


A Bill to make provision to increase the minimum energy performance of buildings; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

65 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
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Ministers were required to self-isolate on 21 July 2021.

This information is not held by the Cabinet Office.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Smart Freight system will be available for testing by road haulage drivers.

Further to the statement by my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 23 September, details of external ministerial meetings are published on gov.uk

Regarding the 'Check an HGV is ready to cross the border' service (formerly known as 'Smart Freight'), I refer to the answer given to PQ 92707.

It is vital businesses, including those who rely on seasonal work, and workers prepare for the end of the Transition Period. That is why the Government has launched a public information campaign to ensure those affected are ready for the changes this will bring.The campaign uses a range of communication channels and events to help employers understand and prepare. Guidance for businesses is available on gov.uk/transition.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans for the Kent Access Permit to be (a) ready for trialling and (b) operational.

Further to my answer given to PQ92705 on 2 October 2020, the ‘Check an HGV is ready to cross the border’ service will be the mechanism for issuing Kent Access Permits. Government will soon publish its response to the consultation exercise regarding necessary legislative changes.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans for the Smart Freight facility to be (a) trialled and (b) operational.

Further to my answer given to PQ92705 on 2 October 2020, the ‘Check an HGV is ready to cross the border’ service will be the mechanism for issuing Kent Access Permits. Government will soon publish its response to the consultation exercise regarding necessary legislative changes.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of UK nationals working as contractors who have been replaced by specialists from overseas in the latest period for which figures are available.

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

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to announce details of the discretionary local business grant scheme.

The Government has announced that up to £617 million is being made available to Local Authorities in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants as part of the suite of Business Support grants supporting businesses and local economies across England.

Guidance, intended to support Local Authorities in administering the Discretionary Grants Fund, was published 13th May.

Guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding

This will not replace existing guidance for the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) or the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-business-support-grant-funding-guidance-for-businesses

The additional Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs but not liable for business rates or rates reliefs. We are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

Local Authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for this fund and may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need, subject to those businesses meeting the specific eligibility criteria. Businesses seeking information should refer to their Local Authority for further information on their discretionary scheme. Businesses already in receipt of the SBGF, RHLGF or Self-employed Income Support Scheme are not eligible.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) EU and (b) overseas nationals employed in low-skilled jobs in the (i) catering and (ii) hospitality industries.

My department has not made a direct estimate of the number of EU or overseas nationals employed in low-skilled jobs in the catering and hospitality industries.

In August 2019, research released by the Office for National Statistics estimated that 501,000 non-British nationals work in tourism in the UK. Of these, just under two thirds were EU nationals, just over a third non-EU nationals.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to announce details of the Primary PE and Sport Premium for the 2022-23 academic year.

The department is considering arrangements for the primary PE and sport premium for the 2022/23 academic year and beyond and will confirm the position in due course.

18th Jan 2021
What support his Department is providing to help safeguard (a) staff and (b) children in early years settings during the covid-19 outbreak.

The department has worked collaboratively with Public Health England to develop a system of controls, which when implemented in line with a revised risk assessment, create an inherently safer environment where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced for children and staff.

Settings must comply with health and safety law, which requires them to assess risks and put in place proportionate control measures. Settings should thoroughly review their health and safety risk assessment and draw up plans on re-opening, in the event that they have to close. Settings should have active arrangements in place to monitor that the controls are effective, working as planned, and updated appropriately, for example when any issues are identified, or when there are changes in public health advice.

When conducting risk assessments, settings should ensure consideration is given to staff and children with protected characteristics from groups where a disparity has been shown by the review of disparities in risks and outcomes (for example, age and sex, where someone lives, deprivation, ethnicity and/or people’s occupation).

The department has published the ‘Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’ guidance, which provides details on the system of controls and how they work in practice. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

We are continuing to work closely with other government departments and local authorities to secure the most effective approach to asymptomatic testing for the whole of the early years sector. This includes ongoing discussions about providing testing via the education testing programme as well as strongly encouraging local authorities to prioritise appropriate testing for early years staff via Community Testing programmes, which now covers all local authorities. The fastest way testing can currently be delivered is through the community rapid asymptomatic testing being run by local authorities.

We are rolling out our asymptomatic testing programme to primary schools, schools-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools. The asymptomatic testing programme will offer all primary school, schools-based nursery and maintained nursery school staff home Lateral Flow Device test kits for twice weekly testing. This will help to break the chains of transmission of COVID-19 in education settings by identifying asymptomatic positive cases. Those who test positive will then self-isolate, helping to reduce transmission of the virus.

Furthermore, with regard to vaccinations, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age.

Under the priority groups for the first phase of vaccine rollout, those over 50 years of age, and all those 16 years of age and over in a risk group, would be eligible for vaccination within the first phase of the programme. This prioritisation captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19.

Regarding the next phase of vaccine rollout, the JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other Government departments. The department is inputting into this cross governmental exercise.

11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the current animal welfare arrangements for the 77 million fish farmed annually in the United Kingdom.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any protected animal, or to fail to provide for the welfare needs of an animal, including fish, for which that person is responsible.

Regulations also require that farmed fish are spared avoidable pain, distress or suffering during their killing and related operations.

As part of the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, we are currently considering a number of improvements that could be made to the welfare of farmed fish at the time of killing and have asked the Animal Welfare Committee to update its 2014 Opinion on the welfare of farmed fish at the time of killing.

Any allegations of welfare or health issues will be investigated by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and Cefas, and where there are non-compliances with the regulations, appropriate action is taken against anyone who breaks the law when non-compliances are disclosed.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many permits his Department has issued for the import of hunting trophies from Russia in each of the last three years.

The UK recorded 2 imports of brown bear hunting trophies from Russia under CITES in 2020, 12 in 2019 and 0 in 2018. 2020 is the latest full year for which data is available. Data for 2021 is currently being finalised and will be made available through the CITES trade database at https://trade.cites.org/.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Oct 2021
What assessment his Department has made of the effect of labour shortages on the harvesting of crops in autumn 2021.

Defra is working closely with farmers and growers to address labour shortages and help them secure the labour needed for harvesting. This year, the Seasonal Workers Pilot has been expanded for 2021 to 30,000 visas. Growers can also recruit workers with status under the EU Settlement Scheme. We are working with the Department for Work and Pensions to support the horticulture sector in recruiting more UK workers, and undertaking a review to examine the potential for automation to meet future need.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much his Department spent on measures to prevent the illegal wildlife trade in each year since 2015.

Defra has invested over £26 million since 2015 on work to directly counter illegal wildlife trade in animals and plants internationally to benefit nature, people, the economy and protect global security. This includes projects to reduce demand, strengthen enforcement, ensure effective legal frameworks and develop sustainable livelihoods.

Since 2015, we have also provided close to £1 million to support the National Wildlife Crime Unit in tackling wildlife crime in the UK, which includes combating the illegal wildlife trade.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to restrict the activities of supertrawlers operating within UK fishing grounds.

We will automatically take back control of our waters, and others’ right to fish in them, at the end of 2020. For the first time in 40 years, we will be free to decide who can access our waters to fish and on what terms.

The Fisheries Bill prohibits any commercial fishing vessel (including foreign-registered vessels) from fishing in UK waters without a licence. It also provides powers to attach conditions (such as the areas that can be fished, species that can be caught and the type of fishing gear that can be used) to fishing vessel licences. Foreign vessels operating in UK waters will have to follow UK rules, including the conditions that are attached to their commercial fishing licence.

Leaving the CFP gives us the opportunity to introduce a sustainable, responsible and resilient new fisheries policy. This means we will consider the sustainability of our stocks and our precious marine environment, and take the steps necessary to allow them and our domestic industry, to flourish.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what further steps he plans to take to tackle the illegal importation of puppies into the UK.

Defra takes the issue of puppy smuggling and other illegal importation of pets seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to puppies and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk. We have legislation in place to ensure those guilty of offences are duly punished.

We are listening to the concerns of stakeholders around future requirements and the Government is developing a range of options to strengthen our efforts to tackle puppy smuggling, taking into consideration the recommendations of stakeholders such as Dogs Trust. The end of the Transition Period may open up new opportunities for managing our own pet travel arrangements. As part of our wider work in this area, we have conducted a renewed rabies risk assessment and have commissioned assessments to understand the risks posed by tapeworms, as well as ticks and tick-borne disease. The results of these will be used to inform our future policy options.

Regarding specific sentencing options, the end of the Transition Period will again present new opportunities. We want to ensure that there are robust controls on disease and animal welfare whilst allowing pet owners to continue to be able to travel to and from the EU with the minimum of disruption.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will increase the sentences for the illegal importation of dogs and cats to include provision for a significant custodial sentence upon conviction.

Defra takes the issue of puppy smuggling and other illegal importation of pets seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to puppies and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk. We have legislation in place to ensure those guilty of offences are duly punished.

We are listening to the concerns of stakeholders around future requirements and the Government is developing a range of options to strengthen our efforts to tackle puppy smuggling, taking into consideration the recommendations of stakeholders such as Dogs Trust. The end of the Transition Period may open up new opportunities for managing our own pet travel arrangements. As part of our wider work in this area, we have conducted a renewed rabies risk assessment and have commissioned assessments to understand the risks posed by tapeworms, as well as ticks and tick-borne disease. The results of these will be used to inform our future policy options.

Regarding specific sentencing options, the end of the Transition Period will again present new opportunities. We want to ensure that there are robust controls on disease and animal welfare whilst allowing pet owners to continue to be able to travel to and from the EU with the minimum of disruption.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to facilitate the re-opening of wildlife parks; and if he will make a statement.

As announced by the Prime Minister on 10 June, outdoor areas of zoos and safari parks will be allowed to reopen from 15 June, subject to appropriate social distancing measures being in place. This includes keeping indoor exhibitions, such as reptile houses and those in aquariums, closed, and ensuring other amenities like cafes offer take-away services only.

The move follows close work by the Government with the zoo industry to ensure visitor numbers can be managed and safeguards are put in place.

The decision to relax restrictions on these select outdoor attractions is part of the Government’s careful approach to easing the lockdown in phases, guided by the advice of scientific and medical experts and the fact the risk of transmission is much lower outdoors.

Officials continue to meet weekly with BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and with the CEOs of the largest charitable zoos and aquariums in England providing a valuable forum to monitor concerns and seek insights from key sector representatives on current issues.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the value of top fruit left unpicked as a result of labour shortages during the 2018-2019 season.

The information requested is not held by Defra.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) EU and (b) overseas nationals employed as (i) semi-skilled and (ii) unskilled workers in agriculture.

The information requested at this level of detail is not held by Defra. However, we can provide information taken from the ONS Annual Population Survey which shows the number of EU/EEA nationals working permanently in the agricultural sector for the whole of the UK. These figures will not include seasonal workers living in communal or temporary accommodation and do not show a distinction between semi-skilled and unskilled workers in agriculture.

The ONS Annual Population Survey showed that the number of EEA nationals working permanently in UK agriculture in 2019 was approximately 18,000.

Further ONS data suggests that meat processing (48%), fish processing (46%), fruit and veg processing (35%) and the manufacture of other food products (27%) had high proportions of non-UK EU nationals in their workforce in 2019.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the additional costs incurred by the (a) agricultural and (b) horticultural sectors as a result of the proposed immigration controls on (i) semi-skilled and (ii) unskilled workers.

The information requested at this level of detail on employment numbers is not held by Defra. Defra is considering the latest data and working closely with industry to understand labour demand and supply, including both permanent and seasonal workforce requirements.

The information requested on estimates of additional costs incurred as a result of the new points-based immigration system is not held by Defra.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) EU and (b) overseas nationals employed as (i) semi-skilled and (ii) unskilled workers in horticulture.

The information requested at this level of detail on employment numbers is not held by Defra. Defra is considering the latest data and working closely with industry to understand labour demand and supply, including both permanent and seasonal workforce requirements.

The information requested on estimates of additional costs incurred as a result of the new points-based immigration system is not held by Defra.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the economic impact of the planned closures of the M2 motorway between junctions 5 and 6 at weekends in (a) spring and (b) summer 2022 on tourist industries in the seaside towns of (i) Whitstable, (ii) Herne Bay, (iii) Birchington-on-Sea, (iv) Westgate-on-Sea, (v) Margate, (vi) Broadstairs and (vii) Ramsgate.

The closures are required to carry out essential replacement of life-expired bridge components. The Department does not, as standard practice, carry out economic impact assessments for road closures. However, National Highways has agreed the planned closures in consultation with Kent County Council and timed them to avoid school holidays and major events in the local area.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of future GDP growth on air freight tonnage for (a) imports into and (b) exports from the UK.

The Department actively monitors the passage of air freight in and out of the UK and engages regularly with industry including airlines, airports and ground handling companies.

The Government recognises the vital role air freight plays in supply chains by ensuring that essential goods can continue to be brought into and out of the UK without disruption. The sector is highly resilient and exclusively private. In 2017 air freight contributed £7.2 billion to the UK economy.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of UK airfreight infrastructure required to accommodate (a) dedicated freighter aircraft using UK runway capacity, (b) belly freight on passenger aircraft served by existing UK airports and (c) airfreight trucked to or from EU airports.

The Department actively monitors the passage of air freight in and out of the UK and engages regularly with industry including airlines, airports and ground handling companies.

The Government recognises the vital role air freight plays in supply chains by ensuring that essential goods can continue to be brought into and out of the UK without disruption. The sector is highly resilient and exclusively private. In 2017 air freight contributed £7.2 billion to the UK economy.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the air freight capacity available at (a) Heathrow (b) Stansted and (c) East Midlands airports.

The Department actively monitors the passage of air freight in and out of the UK and engages regularly with industry including airlines, airports and ground handling companies.

The Government recognises the vital role air freight plays in supply chains by ensuring that essential goods can continue to be brought into and out of the UK without disruption. The sector is highly resilient and exclusively private. In 2017 air freight contributed £7.2 billion to the UK economy.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the annual tonnage of air freight that is (a) trucked from the UK to EU airports for onward carriage by air and (b) flown into EU airports and then trucked onwards into the UK.

The Department actively monitors the passage of air freight in and out of the UK and engages regularly with industry including airlines, airports and ground handling companies.

The Government recognises the vital role air freight plays in supply chains by ensuring that essential goods can continue to be brought into and out of the UK without disruption. The sector is highly resilient and exclusively private. In 2017 air freight contributed £7.2 billion to the UK economy.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of internet sales on demand for air freight services.

The Department actively monitors the passage of air freight in and out of the UK and engages regularly with industry including airlines, airports and ground handling companies.

The Government recognises the vital role air freight plays in supply chains by ensuring that essential goods can continue to be brought into and out of the UK without disruption. The sector is highly resilient and exclusively private. In 2017 air freight contributed £7.2 billion to the UK economy.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of new trade deals on the import and export volumes that will require air freight transportation.

The Department actively monitors the passage of air freight in and out of the UK and engages regularly with industry including airlines, airports and ground handling companies.

The Government recognises the vital role air freight plays in supply chains by ensuring that essential goods can continue to be brought into and out of the UK without disruption. The sector is highly resilient and exclusively private. In 2017 air freight contributed £7.2 billion to the UK economy.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what average length of time is taken by her Department to process the mandatory reconsideration of a personal independence payment claim.

Statistics on the average clearance time for Mandatory Reconsiderations (MR) for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can be found in the data tables of the quarterly statistical publication ‘Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics to July 2020” published by the Department for Work and Pensions and available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-july-2020

Figures for Great Britain can be found in Table 4A by month the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) was cleared in calendar days.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an estimate of the number of job vacancies that will be created in the event that the WASPI generation of women are permitted to retire immediately and on full pension.

No such estimate has been made.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information the Government holds on the number of deaths from covid-19 occurring within twenty-eight days of receipt of a covid-19 negative test result.

Public Health England (PHE) does not collect the data requested.

The PHE weekly COVID-19 surveillance report publishes mortality surveillance for England.

The most recent weekly COVID-19 surveillance report can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-covid-19-surveillance-reports

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the advice submitted to his Department by Public Health England on the provision and use of personal protective equipment was last updated.

The Government updated its guidance ‘COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)’ and its guidance ‘Considerations for acute personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages’ on 3 May 2020.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people employed or volunteering in NHS hospitals who have died as the result of a covid-19 infection were working on (a) intensive care wards, (b) Blue (covid-19) wards and (c) Red (non-covid 19) wards.

As of 13 May 2020, the number of National Health Service workers who have died from COVID-19 in England is 147. At this stage, the data that we hold is not available in the format requested. We will continue to review what data we publish.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to tackle potential labour shortages as a result of the Government's proposed immigration controls.

We are continually monitoring and analysing the impact on both cost and numbers of staff in the National Health Service and social care sector as a result of multiple changes including the future immigration system.

The changes to the immigration system and the ending of freedom of movement will mean that social care employers will need to redouble efforts to promote jobs in social care to workers in the United Kingdom.

For the NHS, the final NHS People Plan will be published by the National Health Service in early 2020 and will set out a clear framework for collective action on workforce priorities, with a focus on growing and sustaining a well-skilled workforce across the whole NHS.

Alongside these plans continued effective oversea recruitment will be facilitated through an NHS Visa which will incorporate fast-track entry, dedicated support and reduced fees, to encourage increasing numbers of skilled overseas professionals to come and work in the NHS.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the additional cost to the (a) NHS and (b) private care sector of the proposed immigration limits on unskilled and low-paid workers from (i) the EU and (ii) overseas.

We are continually monitoring and analysing the impact on both cost and numbers of staff in the National Health Service and social care sector as a result of multiple changes including the future immigration system.

The changes to the immigration system and the ending of freedom of movement will mean that social care employers will need to redouble efforts to promote jobs in social care to workers in the United Kingdom.

For the NHS, the final NHS People Plan will be published by the National Health Service in early 2020 and will set out a clear framework for collective action on workforce priorities, with a focus on growing and sustaining a well-skilled workforce across the whole NHS.

Alongside these plans continued effective oversea recruitment will be facilitated through an NHS Visa which will incorporate fast-track entry, dedicated support and reduced fees, to encourage increasing numbers of skilled overseas professionals to come and work in the NHS.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, If he will discuss with his Turkish counterpart the resolution of persons missing following the invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the role that Turkey could play in providing access to military sites for exhumation and the release of information from military archives.

The UK maintains close contact with the Committee on Missing Persons which is mandated to search for, recover, identify and return to their families the remains of Cypriots from both communities. In July, the UK ensured language was included in the renewal of the mandate for the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus calling on all parties to enhance their cooperation with the Committee on Missing Persons, explicitly through providing full access without delay to all areas and responding in a timely manner to requests for archival information on possible burial sites.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to reach a reciprocal agreement with the United States to ensure that UK citizens in that country whose visas have expired or are about to expire are granted the same concessions as those enjoyed, for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic, by US citizens visiting the UK.

The UK is in regular contact at the highest levels with our US partners on our joint response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, including discussions on how to enable travelling nationals to return home where necessary.

For UK citizens in the US on non-immigration visas, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are accepting timely extension of stay (EOS) or change in status (COS) applications. The granting of either status will allow UK citizens whose visas have expired to lawfully remain in the US for an agreed period of time. More information can be found on the USCIS website.

UK citizens currently in the US on an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa are able to apply for Satisfactory Departure from the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This discretionary authority permits USCIS and CBP to extend an ESTA admission for a period not to exceed 30 days.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reciprocal arrangements the Government has made with the US Administration to extend the length of visas for UK and US citizens currently in either country whose visas are due to expire and who are unable to return home because of the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK is in regular contact at the highest levels with our US partners on our joint response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, including discussions on how to enable travelling nationals to return home where necessary. It is up to individual countries how they manage their response to the virus, including immigration policy.

British travellers currently in the USA will be allowed to leave to return home. British travellers who entered the USA on an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa and are concerned that their period of admission is about to expire are able to apply for Satisfactory Departure from the US Customs and Border Protection. This discretionary authority permits US Citizenship and Immigration Services and US Customs and Border Protection to extend an ESTA admission for a period not to exceed 30 days.

Most US citizens in the UK can stay for up to 6 months without a visa. If US citizen's visa is expiring and they cannot leave the UK at present because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to COVID-19, they are able to request an extension from the Home Office's Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) and their visa will be extended to 31 May 2020.

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to publish final guidance on the implementation of the Job Support Scheme.

On 22 October the Government published further details on the Job Support Scheme, increasing the scale of support available to employers through JSS-Open, above that which was initially announced. Further guidance on the Job Support Scheme will be available by the end of October.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether GB issued EORI numbers will be valid in Europe after 31 December 2020.

After 31 December 2020 when the transition period ends, GB prefixed EORI numbers will no longer be valid in Europe.

Businesses exporting goods from, or importing goods into, the UK will need an EORI number from the UK in order to submit a customs declaration to UK customs.

UK businesses which currently trade with non-EU countries will already have an EORI number. If this number starts with “GB” then it was issued by the UK and will continue to be valid for the purposes of submitting customs declarations in the UK from January 2021.

25th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make provision to ensure that UK citizens resident in the remaining EU 27 countries are able to have British Civil Service and other state pensions paid into overseas bank accounts.

The Civil Service pension scheme offers the facility for members to have their pension paid into a foreign bank account. The amount received by overseas members is their pension entitlement in pounds sterling converted to the local currency using business exchange rates at the time the payment is made.

The UK state pension will continue to be paid worldwide following our departure from the EU, either into a bank in a pensioner’s country of residence or a bank or building society in the UK.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) passporting arrangements and (b) banking facilities used by UK citizens resident in the remaining EU 27 countries will be maintained after the 31 December 2020.

The UK has consistently been clear that we want an agreement with the EU that reflects the maturity of our financial services relationship.

The EU’s financial services passport is not available for firms based in countries outside of the EU and the EEA as they are based on the single EU rulebook for financial services. The UK is leaving the Single Market, and therefore is not subject to the passport. The UK has taken a pragmatic approach to the future relationship on financial services, and has been clear that politicisation of equivalence is in no-one’s interests.

The UK authorities have taken all the action we can to mitigate risks of disruption to cross-border financial services at the end of the Transition Period (TP), including confirming that the Temporary Permissions Regime will apply from the end of the TP. It will allow EEA firms currently providing services in the UK via a financial services ‘passport’ to continue operating after the TP while they apply for full UK authorisation.

But whether UK firms can service EEA-based retail customers remains a matter of local law and regulation in each country. We expect banks to act lawfully and in accordance with local regulators’ expectations.

We also expect that banks work to ensure good outcomes for their customers and provide timely communications to enable them to make appropriate decisions and take necessary steps. If customers are concerned then they should speak to their provider.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of IR35 tax reforms on rates of employment amongst contractors.

The off-payroll working rules are designed to ensure that someone working like an employee, but through a company, pays similar levels of tax to other employees. It is fair that individuals who work in a similar way should pay broadly the same amount of tax. The rules do not apply to the self-employed or stop anyone working through their own company.

In January 2020, the Government launched a review into the implementation of the reform of the rules. The Government is aware that some organisations are considering whether PSCs are the best way to engage contractors who are working like employees. Businesses reported that where individuals had been moved onto payroll, this was a result of a review of the structure of their workforce.

However, the Government has not seen any evidence that this indicates an overall change in demand for the services and skills that contractors offer, but will continue to monitor impacts on the labour market. For contractors who would prefer to continue to use a PSC, many organisations will still choose to engage contractors in this way, where this suits their business model.

Independent research on the impacts of the reform in the public sector has suggested that it did not reduce market flexibility or affect the use of contingent labour.

At Budget 2018, the independent OBR did not judge the forthcoming reform to have any specific macroeconomic impacts. This was reiterated in the Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) published in July 2019, which sets out HMRC’s assessment of the impact of the reform to the off-payroll working rules. The TIIN can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of IR35 tax reforms on (a) the economy and (b) flexibility in the workforce.

The off-payroll working rules are designed to ensure that someone working like an employee, but through a company, pays similar levels of tax to other employees. It is fair that individuals who work in a similar way should pay broadly the same amount of tax. The rules do not apply to the self-employed or stop anyone working through their own company.

In January 2020, the Government launched a review into the implementation of the reform of the rules. The Government is aware that some organisations are considering whether PSCs are the best way to engage contractors who are working like employees. Businesses reported that where individuals had been moved onto payroll, this was a result of a review of the structure of their workforce.

However, the Government has not seen any evidence that this indicates an overall change in demand for the services and skills that contractors offer, but will continue to monitor impacts on the labour market. For contractors who would prefer to continue to use a PSC, many organisations will still choose to engage contractors in this way, where this suits their business model.

Independent research on the impacts of the reform in the public sector has suggested that it did not reduce market flexibility or affect the use of contingent labour.

At Budget 2018, the independent OBR did not judge the forthcoming reform to have any specific macroeconomic impacts. This was reiterated in the Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) published in July 2019, which sets out HMRC’s assessment of the impact of the reform to the off-payroll working rules. The TIIN can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020.

18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to reduce the backlog of outstanding passport applications.

Ahead of unrestricted international travel returning, HM Passport Office prepared extensively to serve an unprecedented number of customers, with 9.5 million British passport applications forecasted throughout 2022.

These preparations have ensured that passport applications can be processed in higher numbers than ever before. Across March and April 2022, HM Passport Office completed the processing of approximately two million applications.

Ministers continue to meet regularly with officials to monitor performance, and to explore further options that will help to ensure that people receive their passports in good time.

18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passport applications are (a) outstanding and (b) remain unprocessed for more than ten weeks.

Since April 2021, people have been advised to allow up to ten weeks when applying for their British passport as more than 5 million people delayed applying due to the pandemic. 98.6% of all passport applications are dealt well within 10 weeks and we are processing around 250,000 per week,

A British passport cannot be issued until all checks are satisfactorily completed to ensure the applicant is entitled to hold one. If further information is required to enable an application to be progressed, then it will take longer.

18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of staff in the Passport Office working from home as of 18 May 2022.

For staff where they role can only be performed from an office, they will continue to work from a Home Office building at all times.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office operational teams securely process passport applications both working from an office and through the use of homeworking solutions. Passport Applications are being processed in higher numbers than ever before. Across March and April 2022, HM Passport Office completed the processing of approximately two million applications.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many items have been seized under the terms of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in each year since 2015.

The total number of seizures from Quarter One of 2015 to Quarter One of 2020 is 5,136 items.

Seizures relating to products related to the Convention of international trade of endangered species (CITES), are published quarterly on the.gov.uk website.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much her Department has spent on helping to prevent the illegal wildlife trade in each year since 2015.

Since 2016, the Home Office has provided £136,000 annually to the National Wildlife Crime Unit to bolster work preventing wildlife crime both domestically and internationally.

Going forward, all decisions on government funding will be taken as part of the next Spending Review.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what was the annual value of the health service charges that her Department collects from immigrants working the the NHS and social care services in each of the last two years for which figures are available.

The Home Office does not collate or publish the information requested.

Income generated by Immigration Health Surcharge payments go directly to NHS services, helping to protect and sustain our world-class healthcare system for everyone who uses it.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will (a) place funding for the national wildlife crime unit on a permanent basis and (b) allocate to that unit sufficient funding to support the effective investigation of wildlife crimes.

The Home Office is providing funding of £136,000 to support the work of the National Wildlife Crime Unit in 2020/21. This will be in addition to the funding central Government is providing to police forces in England and Wales to tackle all types of crime, including wildlife crime.

Decisions about Home Office funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit beyond March 2021 will be taken as part of the Spending Review.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the additional costs to be borne by the (a) catering and (b) hospitality industries as a result of the Government's proposals to limit low-skilled workers from (i) the EU and (ii) overseas.

This Government will reduce lower skilled migration. Free movement is ending, and we will not simply replicate it in a future system.

We need to shift the focus of our economy away from a reliance on cheap labour from Europe and immigration must also be considered alongside investment in technology, innovation, automation and the development of the UK’s domestic labour force.

Employers need to focus on investing in the people already here and make jobs more attractive for UK workers.

Businesses can continue to be able to rely on those EU/EEA nationals living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status and those who come to the UK through youth mobility schemes.

We are also committed to quadrupling the Seasonal Workers scheme for agriculture for non EEA nationals from 2,500 to 10,000 places.

As the future system is developed we will continue to engage with stakeholders form a range of industries and take advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure an adequate supply of labour for the (i) catering and (ii) hospitality industries after the introduction of controls on low-skilled workers from the (A) EU and (B) overseas.

This Government will reduce lower skilled migration. Free movement is ending, and we will not simply replicate it in a future system.

We need to shift the focus of our economy away from a reliance on cheap labour from Europe and immigration must also be considered alongside investment in technology, innovation, automation and the development of the UK’s domestic labour force.

Employers need to focus on investing in the people already here and make jobs more attractive for UK workers.

Businesses can continue to be able to rely on those EU/EEA nationals living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status and those who come to the UK through youth mobility schemes.

We are also committed to quadrupling the Seasonal Workers scheme for agriculture for non EEA nationals from 2,500 to 10,000 places.

As the future system is developed we will continue to engage with stakeholders form a range of industries and take advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of UK-trained overseas Veterinary Surgeons working in the UK under the current visa regulations that will be required to leave the UK in the next five years.

Veterinarians from outside the EU can apply to come to the UK under Tier 2 (General), our main route for skilled workers. Tier 2 is a route to settlement and so no Veterinary Surgeons who are in the UK on this route would be required to leave as long as they meet the settlement requirements. As Veterinarians are on the UK Shortage Occupation List, they are exempt from having to meet the settlement salary threshold.

The EU Settlement Scheme makes it easy for Veterinary Surgeons who are EU citizens and want to stay in the UK to get the UK immigration status they need in order to continue living and working here as they do now.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of changes to business rates on high street activity; and if he will further review eligibility for non-residential business rate relief.

The Government recognises the challenges being faced by our high streets, and in response announced the retail discount at Budget 2018, and provided eligible retailers with a third off their bills from April 2019. In addition, the Government has also announced a £1 billion Future High Streets Fund, part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, to re-energise local economies.

In an exceptional response to the coronavirus, the Government has increased the retail discount to 100 per cent and expanded it to include hospitality and leisure properties, such as museums, theatres, gyms and hotels.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reasons adult gaming centres are excluded from high street rate relief.

The guidance for local authorities on application of the business rates retail discount sets out the types of property use that the Government considers to be retail use for the purposes of the discount. While the guidance does not specifically refer to adult gaming centres, it lists a range of service provision uses that the Government does not consider to be retail use, including betting shops. As set out in the guidance it is for local authorities to determine whether particular properties are broadly similar in nature to those specifically excluded by the guidance and, if so, to consider them not eligible for the relief under their local scheme.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the criteria upon which high street shops were determined to be eligible for rate relief.

The Government published updated guidance to local authorities on the application of the retail discount for 2020-21, on 27 January 2020 which can be found at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/861633/200129_Retail_Discount_Guidance.pdf


The guidance sets out the relevant criteria to enable local authorities to determine which high street properties are eligible for the discount.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals in respect of the non-domestic rating of public lavatories.

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

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent estimate his Department has made of the average length of time taken to process an application for a Power of Attorney.

As of 23/2/2021 the average time taken to process and dispatch a lasting power of attorney (LPA) was 57 days against the target of 40 days. The target includes a statutory four week waiting period. As a comparison, the October average came in at 61 days. The 40-day target was achieved in 2019/20.

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has seen an increase in the time taken to process an LPA since COVID-19 began impacting the workplace.

LPAs are paper documents that require a physical staff presence in an office to process and register. The number of staff available to attend the office to carry out the physical activities is significantly reduced due to COVID-19 and the need to maintain a COVID secure office through social distancing. Measures were introduced to focus on enabling as much remote working as possible and increasing the number of staff hours available in the office through overtime payments and weekend working.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice