Sammy Wilson Portrait

Sammy Wilson

Democratic Unionist Party - East Antrim

First elected: 5th May 2005

Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit)

(since July 2017)

Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

(since May 2015)

Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury)

(since May 2015)

Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill
18th Jan 2023 - 25th Jan 2023
Cultural Objects (Protection From Seizure) Bill
9th Nov 2021 - 17th Nov 2021
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on Exiting the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education)
8th May 2015 - 8th Jun 2017
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committee on Exiting the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury)
12th May 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)
12th May 2010 - 30th Mar 2012
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)
1st Jun 2007 - 1st Jun 2010
Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury)
1st Jun 2009 - 6th May 2010
Transport Committee
10th Nov 2008 - 9th Nov 2009
Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)
1st Jun 2007 - 1st Jun 2009
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2005 - 10th Nov 2008
Shadow Spokesperson (Innovation, Universities and Skills)
1st Jun 2007 - 1st Jun 2008
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)
1st Jun 2003 - 1st Jun 2007
Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)
1st Jun 2005 - 1st Jun 2007


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Sammy Wilson has voted in 584 divisions, and 8 times against the majority of their Party.

13 Oct 2020 - Fisheries Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Sammy Wilson voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 4 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 197 Noes - 331
12 Oct 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Sammy Wilson voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 7 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 279
23 Sep 2020 - Deferred Division - View Vote Context
Sammy Wilson voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Democratic Unionist Party No votes vs 3 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 5
16 Jan 2023 - Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill - View Vote Context
Sammy Wilson voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 1 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 309 Noes - 249
16 Jan 2023 - Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill - View Vote Context
Sammy Wilson voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 1 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 306 Noes - 252
14 Dec 2022 - Asylum Seekers (Removal to Safe Countries) - View Vote Context
Sammy Wilson voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 1 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 69 Noes - 188
12 Dec 2022 - Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill - View Vote Context
Sammy Wilson voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes vs 2 Democratic Unionist Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 294 Noes - 46
13 Jun 2023 - Procurement Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Sammy Wilson voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party No votes vs 4 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 280
View All Sammy Wilson 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
Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
(28 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(25 debate interactions)
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(23 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Northern Ireland Office
(116 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(99 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(89 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Sammy Wilson's debates

East Antrim Petitions

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

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

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

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.


Latest EDMs signed by Sammy Wilson

4th March 2024
Sammy Wilson signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 21st March 2024

Future defence spending

Tabled by: Giles Watling (Conservative - Clacton)
That this House calls on the Government to bring forward legislative proposals to require that a minimum of 3% of GDP be allocated to defence spending; recognises that defence spending is at a three-year high but should be protected to prevent economic downturns from impacting the defence budget adversely; believes …
5 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Mar 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
29th November 2023
Sammy Wilson signed this EDM on Wednesday 21st February 2024

Verification of gestational age for at-home abortions

Tabled by: Carla Lockhart (Democratic Unionist Party - Upper Bann)
That this House welcomes the introduction of the At Home Early Medical Abortion (Review) Bill [HL] that seeks a review into the risks to women of at-home abortion under current law; expresses its support for the Bill; calls on the Government to reinstate in-person medical appointments before abortion pills may …
19 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Democratic Unionist Party: 7
Conservative: 6
Independent: 3
Scottish National Party: 2
View All Sammy Wilson's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Sammy Wilson, 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.



Latest 50 Written Questions

(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
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent steps his Department has taken to appoint the Chair of the infected blood compensation arms length body.

The Government has not yet taken a decision on accepting the recommendations of the Inquiry’s second interim report and will continue to update Parliament in due course on this matter.

22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make it his policy to provide public funding for legal representation for people making infected blood compensation claims.

The Government has accepted the moral case for compensation. The details of how a compensation scheme would be delivered, including whether public funding would be provided for legal representation, is yet to be determined.

4th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make a comparative assessment of the number of people who died from (a) heart attacks, (b) cancer, (c) strokes and (d) flu from 1 January to 31 March (i) 2020 and (ii) 2019.

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

26th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether her Department plans to produce a trade and investment factsheet for trade with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

In accordance with the rest of the international community, with the sole exception of Turkey, the UK does not recognise the self-declared "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" as an independent state. UK trade statistics from the Office for National Statistics, which provide most of the headline information shown in the trade and investment factsheets, do not include figures identifying UK trade with the north of Cyprus . It is therefore not possible to produce a separate trade and investment factsheet.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of commencing direct maritime shipping routes from the UK to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on levels of trade with that country.

I refer the Hon Member for East Antrim to the answer given to him by my Hon. Friend for Aldershot, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Europe) at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, on 4th April 2023, UIN: 175568.

The Department for Business and Trade refer all north of Cyprus trade enquiries from UK companies to the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce for further information.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether Ofgem has held recent discussions with relevant stakeholders in Northern Ireland on its duties under section 202 of the Energy Act 2023.

Section 202 obliges Ofgem to consider how its decisions may assist the Secretary of State in meeting the UK-wide net zero targets in the Climate Change Act 2008.

Ofgem is established as the gas and electricity markets regulator for Great Britain and it has no regulatory functions exercisable in Northern Ireland. Therefore, our understanding is that Ofgem will not have engaged stakeholders in Northern Ireland regarding this duty, and section 202 does not require Ofgem to consider any different targets legislated for by devolved administrations.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what discussions she has had with Ofgem on the criteria for the third cap and floor window for electricity interconnectors.

Ofgem is responsible for administering the cap and floor windows for electricity interconnectors, including setting and applying the criteria for the process.

The Department meets regularly with Ofgem to discuss electricity interconnection.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what steps her Department is taking to support disabled people with their energy costs.

The Government is continually reviewing the financial support it provides for the differing energy needs within its communities and prioritising support for the most vulnerable.

The Help for Households campaign includes numerous cost-of-living support schemes in 2023/2024, such as the Winter Fuel Payment, Warm Home Discount, Disability Cost of Living Payment and the Cost-of-Living Payment for those on means tested benefits which has increased from £650 in 2022/2023 up to £900 in 2023/2024. From 1 October, the Ofgem energy price cap will be £1,923 for a typical household energy bill per year. A typical household will see their annual energy bills come down by around £580 since their peak.

As the Government explores possible approaches to consumer protection from 2024, it is working with disability organisations, considering the costs for disabled people and assessing the need for specific support for disabled people using medical equipment in the home.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans to ban the issue new oil and gas exploration licences; and what impact assessment he has carried out on the potential merits of a ban on the issuance of new licences.

The Department has conducted a review into the future of offshore oil and gas licensing, which has concluded that a new climate compatibility checkpoint will be introduced into the regime. This will help ensure that any future licenses are only awarded on the basis that they are aligned with the government’s broad climate change ambitions, including the UK’s target of reaching net zero by 2050. I refer the Hon. Member to the Written Ministerial Statement made by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 24th March 2021 (Official Report, HCWS879), announcing the implementation of a new checkpoint into the licensing round process.

As we move towards net-zero, oil and gas will play a smaller role in meeting UK energy demand. However, it will continue to play an important one. The independent Climate Change Committee has recognised the ongoing demand for oil and natural gas, including it in all scenarios it proposed for how the UK meets its target for achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

A climate compatibility checkpoint will allow for an orderly transition, underpinned by oil and gas, while the sector continues to bear down on its production emissions, and pivots to support the energy transition.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals requiring unexploded munitions on the seafloor to be disposed of by the process of deflagration as used by the Royal Navy and recommended by a BEIS funded study on the Characterisation of acoustic fields generated by UXO removal, published June 2020.

The Government recognise the potential for significant impact of underwater noise from unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance on vulnerable marine species and is taking active steps to manage and reduce the risk. Two phases of a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) funded project to characterise and contrast the acoustic fields generated by UXO clearance using high order detonation and using low-order deflagration have been completed and reported on.

A third phase has now been initiated to further improve the information base, allowing further assessment of the clearance options. A potential 4th phase of the work involving offshore field work is also being actively explored in which comparative noise measurements would be made during actual UXO clearance campaigns using both deflagration and high order detonations. This would require cooperation and active support from industry (windfarm developers) and the regulatory authorities.

The outcomes from the 3rd and 4th phases would allow an informed discussion and consideration of the adequacy of evidence by regulatory authorities and the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies. It will be for the regulatory authorities and the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies to consider the best available scientific evidence when providing advice on these matters.

22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support the Northern Ireland hydrogen economy.

The Government is committed to developing hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier across the UK. Low carbon hydrogen presents an opportunity for Northern Ireland and the UK as a whole to deliver against our clean growth goals – meeting our decarbonisation needs while capturing commercial opportunities. This is especially important as we support our economy to recover from Covid-19.

In order to realise the opportunities from hydrogen, we are undertaking a range of activities:

  • investing up to £121m in hydrogen innovation across the value chain;
  • developing business models to support the deployment of, and investment in, low carbon hydrogen production;
  • announcing the £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund in 2019 to stimulate capital investment.

We will be setting out further plans in the UK Hydrogen Strategy, which we intend to publish in early 2021.

In order to aid this work, we established the Hydrogen Advisory Council to formalise regular engagement with Industry. The Council met for the first time on 20 July and membership includes officials from Northern Ireland government as well as Ryse/Wrightbus. We look forward to the Council’s ongoing input as we build a new low carbon hydrogen economy for the UK.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to initiate an inquiry into Post Office Ltd's handling of the problems with the Horizon IT system.

Postmasters are the backbone of the Post Office, and their branches are vital to communities across the country. That is why Government takes POL's relationship with its postmasters very seriously.

Government is committed to establishing an independent review to consider whether the Post Office has learned the necessary lessons from the Horizon dispute and court case and to provide an independent and external assessment of its work to rebuild its relationship with its postmasters.

We are continuing to make progress on the scoping of the Independent Review and on the identification of a suitable Chair. We will announce further details on this shortly.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps have been taken to support the aluminium industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is in regular contact with the aluminium industry; I recently spoke to representatives of the Aluminium Federation alongside other industry leaders to discuss the impact of COVID-19.

The Government recognises that it is crucial for the aluminium sector to continue providing essential materials to support the economy, and I am grateful to those working in the industry for their contributions to the national effort during this time of extraordinary disruption.

We have put in place an unprecedented package of Government support to help with business continuity and to give manufacturers - including businesses in the aluminium sector - the support they need.

5th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent progress she has made with Cabinet colleagues on implementing the International Education Strategy.

I refer the right hon. Member for East Antrim to the answer of 7 March 2024 to Question 16186.

5th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the income to the public purse from international students in each of the last three years.

The department does not collect or estimate the impact of international students to the exchequer. International tuition fee income at higher education (HE) providers can be found on the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/finances/income.

The benefits and costs of international HE students to the UK economy and the Exchequer can be found in the Higher Education Policy Institute/Universities UK International/Kaplan report at: https://hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Full-Report-Benefits-and-costs-of-international-students.pdf.

The total net impact on the UK economy of the cohort of first year international students enrolled at UK HE Institutions in the 2021/22 academic year was estimated at £37.4 billion across the duration of their studies. The economic impact is spread across the entire UK, with international students making a £58 million net economic contribution to the UK economy per parliamentary constituency across the duration of their studies. This is equivalent to £560 per member of the resident population.

5th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department has taken to (a) promote and (b) support education exports.

The department has taken a number of steps to promote and support education exports, including the launch of the UK’s International Education Strategy in 2019. The strategy outlined the department’s ambition to increase the value of education exports to £35 billion per year by 2030. The department is on track and continues working towards meeting this ambition with £25.6 billion revenue in 2020.

The department will continue to support education exports by hosting the Education Sector Advisory Group, bringing together industry and government to achieve its export ambitions. The UK’s International Education Champion, Professor Sir Steve Smith, has promoted UK education export growth in key markets, addressing barriers and creating opportunities for education exporters across the UK’s education sector.

7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of childcare responsibilities on the numbers of people pursuing careers in scientific research.

The department knows that for families with younger children, childcare costs are often a significant part of their household expenditure, which is why we are committed to improving the cost, choice, and availability of childcare.

The department is removing one of the biggest barriers to parents working by vastly increasing the amount of free childcare that working families can access. Over £4.1 billion will be provided by 2027/28 to fund 30 hours of free childcare per week (38 weeks per year) for working parents with children aged nine months to three years in England. This new offer will empower parents, allowing them to progress their careers and support their families. The department will invest £204 million in 2023/24 to uplift the rates for existing entitlements, rising to £288 million in 2024/25, with further uplifts beyond this.

We believe all parents should have access to childcare before and after the school day to help them work. That is why we are also launching a new national wraparound childcare pilot scheme. A total of £289 million will be provided in start-up funding to enable schools and local areas to test flexible ways of providing childcare. This will include, for example, exploring models such as partnerships between schools and working with private providers on-site. The department expects that this means most schools will have built up the demand to be able to deliver their own before and after school provision (8am-6pm) by September 2026.

Our proposals in the Spring Statement represent the single biggest investment in childcare in England ever. By 2027/28, this Government expects to be spending in excess of £8 billion every year on free hours and early education, helping families with young children with their childcare costs.

Postgraduate stipends are not classified as income for tax purposes by HM Revenue and Customs, meaning that neither PhD students, nor their university, pay income tax or National Insurance Contributions on their stipend. Because the stipend is not income from work, PhD students are therefore not eligible for free childcare support.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
5th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his Department's planned timetable is for consultation on activity regulations under the Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Act 2023.

The Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Act 2023 provides a framework for the introduction of future bans on the advertising and offering for sale, in England and Northern Ireland, of low-welfare animal activities abroad.

Future decisions on which specific animal activities will fall in scope of the advertising ban will be evidence-based and subject to Parliamentary scrutiny. Sufficient, compelling evidence will be required to demonstrate why any specific advertising ban is needed.

This Government continues to make animal welfare a priority and we are currently exploring a number of options to ensure progress as soon as is practicable.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she plans to provide additional time to businesses who have not prepared for the labelling requirements set out in the Windsor Framework.

The October 2023 date for labelling related to GB to NI movements is immovable as it is the product of negotiations and agreement with the European Union and is established in the Windsor Framework legal text.

We recognise that the new labelling requirements represent a substantial change for industry. The Government will be working with operators to ensure that goods flows are not disrupted as the new arrangements come into force. This includes, for example, a specific transition period in the legal text which means goods that are already on the market will not need to be relabelled. It also includes funding to support the cost of new labelling requirements. We will adopt a pragmatic approach to compliance in the initial phase of implementation.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when her Department plans to publish the Farm Animal Welfare Committee opinion on the Welfare of Farmed Fish at the Time of Killing.

I refer the Rt Hon Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston on 10 March 2023, PQ 158986.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she plans to take steps to support the suppliers of fresh and frozen products seeking to send their products to Northern Ireland with labelling requirements.

On 9 June UK Government published guidance to support industry to implement the new labelling requirements. We also engage stakeholders regularly to provide further bespoke support. The UK Government will also provide financial support to help businesses with the new labelling requirements for October 2023. Further guidance on this will be provided later in the year.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to introduce the Not for EU labelling regulations for products destined for Northern Ireland.

As described in guidance published 9 June 2023, some food products will need individual product labels with the words ‘Not for EU’ to move via the Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme. These requirements will be brought in through three phases from October 2023 to July 2025.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether frozen third country products in Great Britain will need to be shipped to Northern Ireland before 1 October 2023 to meet labelling requirements.

Frozen products must meet the same requirements as non-frozen products. Products in scope must meet relevant labelling requirements to move through the Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme. Details of these requirements can be found in the guidance published on 9 June.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance her Department has issued on the (a) label size, (b) font, (c) location and (d) other specifications for the labelling of not-for-EU products.

The Government published technical requirements for not-for-EU labelling on 9 June 2023, as follows:

  • The labels can be written, printed, stencilled, marked, embossed, impressed on or attached to the product, box or shelf. The labels can be adhesive labels (stickers) or sticky tape, if they are not easily removable.
  • The label must be easy to see, clear to read and unlikely to fall off or be removed. It should not be hidden or covered by any other writing or pictures. It can be incorporated into individual packaging if it does not cover any other required information.
  • Products should be marked in line with existing UK labelling requirements.

The label size, font, and location can be determined by the business as long as the above requirements are met.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of financially supporting fishers to secure suitable, replacement devices for equipment which has had type approval withdrawn.

Fishers who purchased a Maritime Systems device and their industry representatives are being kept directly informed, and have been provided with guidance, including being signposted to further support from the Marine Management Organisation.

The costs associated with supporting fishers and re-starting the I-VMS Project is still being assessed.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Marine Management Organisation has made of the impact on fishermen of removal of the type approval for inshore vessel monitoring systems by the Maritime Systems Ltd.

Fishers who purchased a Maritime Systems device and their industry representatives are being kept directly informed, and have been provided with guidance, including being signposted to further support from the Marine Management Organisation.

The costs associated with supporting fishers and re-starting the I-VMS Project is still being assessed.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions the Marine Management Organisation had with suppliers of inshore vessel monitoring systems other than Maritime Systems Ltd before deciding on type approval.

The current I-VMS Project that facilitates access to U12 fishers in England, to secure an I-VMS device, did so through a ‘Type Approval’ process. This process required suppliers of I-VMS devices to demonstrate that their device met the I-VMS Functional Technical Specification, which included agreeing to Requirements of Participation.

All prospective suppliers were invited to engagement workshops ahead of any formal decision making relating to the approval of their devices’ Type Approved status.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions the Marine Management Organisation had with Maritime Systems Ltd to resolve issues which led to removal of type approval for that company's inshore vessel monitoring systems.

All four I-VMS device suppliers were informed of the outcome of the independent testing and given the opportunity to meet with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and its independent tester to discuss the results.

All suppliers were also given an opportunity to provide the MMO with proposals to fix the issues identified through the testing. The MMO was clear that if suppliers did not provide a plan, or if the MMO was unable to accept the plan, then Type Approval for the device would be removed.

The decision to grant or revoke a devices Type Approval status sits with the MMO.

The decision to revoke the Maritime Systems device Type Approval status was taken as the device submitted for Independent Testing by Maritime Systems did not meet the technical specification for Type Approval. The fix plan provided by Maritime Systems did not give the MMO the necessary confidence that the numerous and significant issues with the device could be fixed.

I and my officials continue to regularly engage with the MMO to ensure the successful rollout of I-VMS to the English under 12m fleet.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what reasons the Marine Management Organisation has given for removing type approval for inland vessel monitoring systems from Maritime Systems Ltd..

All four I-VMS device suppliers were informed of the outcome of the independent testing and given the opportunity to meet with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and its independent tester to discuss the results.

All suppliers were also given an opportunity to provide the MMO with proposals to fix the issues identified through the testing. The MMO was clear that if suppliers did not provide a plan, or if the MMO was unable to accept the plan, then Type Approval for the device would be removed.

The decision to grant or revoke a devices Type Approval status sits with the MMO.

The decision to revoke the Maritime Systems device Type Approval status was taken as the device submitted for Independent Testing by Maritime Systems did not meet the technical specification for Type Approval. The fix plan provided by Maritime Systems did not give the MMO the necessary confidence that the numerous and significant issues with the device could be fixed.

I and my officials continue to regularly engage with the MMO to ensure the successful rollout of I-VMS to the English under 12m fleet.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions she has had with the Marine Management Organisation on the decision to remove type approval for inshore vessel monitoring systems provided by Maritime Systems Ltd.

All four I-VMS device suppliers were informed of the outcome of the independent testing and given the opportunity to meet with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and its independent tester to discuss the results.

All suppliers were also given an opportunity to provide the MMO with proposals to fix the issues identified through the testing. The MMO was clear that if suppliers did not provide a plan, or if the MMO was unable to accept the plan, then Type Approval for the device would be removed.

The decision to grant or revoke a devices Type Approval status sits with the MMO.

The decision to revoke the Maritime Systems device Type Approval status was taken as the device submitted for Independent Testing by Maritime Systems did not meet the technical specification for Type Approval. The fix plan provided by Maritime Systems did not give the MMO the necessary confidence that the numerous and significant issues with the device could be fixed.

I and my officials continue to regularly engage with the MMO to ensure the successful rollout of I-VMS to the English under 12m fleet.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how may border posts her Department plans to erect to inspect movements of goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.

We have committed to providing unfettered access for Qualifying Northern Ireland Goods to the Great Britain market and have enshrined these protections in law. This means Qualifying Northern Ireland goods, except for a small subset such as those subject to international obligations, will face no new checks and controls. We made clear in the draft Border Target Operating Model that Irish goods will be subject to checks when moving directly from Ireland to Great Britain. The Government is rightly engaging with the Welsh and Scottish Governments to ensure appropriate infrastructure is in place on the west coast to support these movements.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions she has had with the Northern Ireland Office on the consultation documents for the draft Border Target Operating Model.

Officials from NIO, NI Exec and DAERA have been consulted regularly on the TOM as it has developed to ensure compatibility with the Windsor Framework.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has made an estimate of the cost of border control posts her Department plans to erect to inspect goods coming from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.

We have committed to providing unfettered access for Qualifying Northern Ireland Goods to the Great Britain market and have enshrined these protections in law. This means Qualifying Northern Ireland goods, except for a small subset such as those subject to international obligations, will face no new checks and controls. We made clear in the draft Border Target Operating Model that Irish goods will be subject to checks when moving directly from Ireland to Great Britain. The Government is rightly engaging with the Welsh and Scottish Governments to ensure appropriate infrastructure is in place on the west coast to support these movements.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what exemptions from inspections at control posts proposed in the draft Border Target Operating Model she plans for goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain; and what information will be required from Northern Ireland firms to qualify for such exemptions.

The UK Government remains committed to ensuring unfettered access for Northern Ireland traders to the Great Britain market. These arrangements will be enshrined and further strengthened in domestic legislation, avoiding burdens for Qualifying Northern Ireland Goods on both direct Northern Ireland-Great Britain and indirect Northern Ireland-Ireland-Great Britain routes. Except for a small subset of goods such as those subject to international obligations, this means they will face no new checks and controls, as has been the case since January 2021. The draft Border Target Operating Model makes clear that Ireland/EU goods will face new checks and controls when moving from Irish ports directly to Great Britain.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 9 January 2023 to Question 110866 on Animal Welfare: Public Consultation, when she plans to hold discussions with the poultry industry on suitable timing for a consultation on the use of cages for laying hens.

The Government is committed to exploring the use of cages. However, no formal timelines for consultations have been confirmed as yet.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many border posts her Department plans to erect in Northern Ireland as a result of the Official Controls (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2023.

My officials have commenced work to assess how Defra will exercise the powers contained in the Official Controls (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2023. My officials have commenced assessment and will provide an update to the House in due course.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of potential cost to the public purse of staffing border control posts as a result of the Official Controls (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2023.

A business case for the construction of SPS inspection facilities in Northern Ireland will be prepared. I will provide an update to the House in due course.

The latest information available as to costs borne by DAERA is set out in my answer to the Rt Hon member for Lagan Valley of 28 November to PQ 92116.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate her Department has made of the cost of potential border control posts in Northern Ireland as a result of the Official Controls (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2023.

A business case for the construction of SPS inspection facilities in Northern Ireland will be prepared. I will provide an update to the House in due course.

The latest information available as to costs borne by DAERA is set out in my answer to the Rt Hon member for Lagan Valley of 28 November to PQ 92116.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the damage caused to marine life as a result of the detonation of abandoned unexploded munitions on the sea floor.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is responsible for licensing marine activities in the seas around England, including the removal of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) from the seabed. In determining any application for a marine licence, the MMO considers all relevant matters including the need to protect the marine environment. This involves assessing any potential impacts on marine life under an environmental assessment. Such assessments are made on the specifics of each case and involve consultation with the MMO’s primary advisors, including Natural England.

In the last five years, the MMO has received, assessed and issued nine marine licences involving the removal of UXOs from the seabed.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many unexploded munitions on the seafloor have been disposed of by detonation in each of the last five years.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is responsible for licensing marine activities in the seas around England, including the removal of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) from the seabed. In determining any application for a marine licence, the MMO considers all relevant matters including the need to protect the marine environment. This involves assessing any potential impacts on marine life under an environmental assessment. Such assessments are made on the specifics of each case and involve consultation with the MMO’s primary advisors, including Natural England.

In the last five years, the MMO has received, assessed and issued nine marine licences involving the removal of UXOs from the seabed.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the arrangements for importing plants into Northern Ireland from Great Britain from 1 January 2021.

Defra and DAERA are working together to ensure that both trade and the movement of goods will continue at the end of the Transition Period. Outcomes from this work, including the process by which controls are conducted and their frequency (including the level of physical checks required), are being discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee. Discussions are being taken forward in the context of the provision in the Protocol that both parties must use their “best endeavours” to avoid controls at Northern Ireland ports. Defra and DAERA continue to work with industry, traders, representative bodies and local authorities to ensure they are engaged, supported and properly prepared to continue trading from January 2021. This will include the publication of Q&As on the DAERA website that will be updated to reflect ongoing discussions and new arrangements.

EU Sanitary and Phytosanitary law will apply to Northern Ireland under the Northern Ireland Protocol, upholding the longstanding status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit. This means there will be no change to the import arrangements for plants moving from the EU to Northern Ireland after the end of the Transition Period.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the arrangements for importing plants from the EU into Northern Ireland after 1 January 2021.

Defra and DAERA are working together to ensure that both trade and the movement of goods will continue at the end of the Transition Period. Outcomes from this work, including the process by which controls are conducted and their frequency (including the level of physical checks required), are being discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee. Discussions are being taken forward in the context of the provision in the Protocol that both parties must use their “best endeavours” to avoid controls at Northern Ireland ports. Defra and DAERA continue to work with industry, traders, representative bodies and local authorities to ensure they are engaged, supported and properly prepared to continue trading from January 2021. This will include the publication of Q&As on the DAERA website that will be updated to reflect ongoing discussions and new arrangements.

EU Sanitary and Phytosanitary law will apply to Northern Ireland under the Northern Ireland Protocol, upholding the longstanding status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit. This means there will be no change to the import arrangements for plants moving from the EU to Northern Ireland after the end of the Transition Period.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has submitted any proposals on border control posts at Northern Ireland ports to the EU Commission.

The UK submitted applications to the European Commission on 30 June for approval of facilities to conduct checks on agrifood goods at points of entry to Northern Ireland. These are for the purposes of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures at Larne and Foyle ports, and for existing SPS inspection posts to be expanded at Belfast and Warrenpoint ports. These applications fulfil our obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions his Department has had with the EU commission on border control posts in Northern Ireland.

The Command paper The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol (CP226) acknowledged the particular requirements under the Protocol on agrifood movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. It also said that the Government would make proposals to minimise requirements on agrifood movements.

The UK’s applications to the European Commission for approval of facilities to conduct checks on agrifood goods at points of entry to Northern Ireland reflect those proposals. We are engaging with the Commission on both. The Government has confirmed to the Northern Ireland Executive in principle it will fund the costs of implementing agrifood checks, subject to business case approval.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assumptions his Department has made on the level of checks required at border control posts at Northern Ireland ports by his Department in order to comply with the Northern Ireland protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Command paper The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol (CP226) acknowledged the particular requirements under the Protocol on agrifood movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. It also said that the Government would make proposals to minimise requirements on agrifood movements.

The UK’s applications to the European Commission for approval of facilities to conduct checks on agrifood goods at points of entry to Northern Ireland reflect those proposals. We are engaging with the Commission on both. The Government has confirmed to the Northern Ireland Executive in principle it will fund the costs of implementing agrifood checks, subject to business case approval.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the costs to his Department of the provision of land and buildings for border control posts at Northern Ireland ports after the transition period.

The Command paper The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol (CP226) acknowledged the particular requirements under the Protocol on agrifood movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. It also said that the Government would make proposals to minimise requirements on agrifood movements.

The UK’s applications to the European Commission for approval of facilities to conduct checks on agrifood goods at points of entry to Northern Ireland reflect those proposals. We are engaging with the Commission on both. The Government has confirmed to the Northern Ireland Executive in principle it will fund the costs of implementing agrifood checks, subject to business case approval.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the additional staff required by his Department to support the manning of border control posts at Northern Ireland ports after the transition period.

The Command paper The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol (CP226) acknowledged the particular requirements under the Protocol on agrifood movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. It also said that the Government would make proposals to minimise requirements on agrifood movements.

The UK’s applications to the European Commission for approval of facilities to conduct checks on agrifood goods at points of entry to Northern Ireland reflect those proposals. We are engaging with the Commission on both. The Government has confirmed to the Northern Ireland Executive in principle it will fund the costs of implementing agrifood checks, subject to business case approval.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the EU Commission on border control posts at Northern Ireland ports.

The Command paper The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol (CP226) acknowledged the particular requirements under the Protocol on agrifood movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. It also said that the Government would make proposals to minimise requirements on agrifood movements.

The UK’s applications to the European Commission for approval of facilities to conduct checks on agrifood goods at points of entry to Northern Ireland reflect those proposals. We are engaging with the Commission on both. The Government has confirmed to the Northern Ireland Executive in principle it will fund the costs of implementing agrifood checks, subject to business case approval.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General