Steve Double Portrait

Steve Double

Conservative - St Austell and Newquay

Assistant Whip

(since September 2021)
Petitions Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 12th Oct 2020
European Scrutiny Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Petitions Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Transport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
European Scrutiny Committee
7th Nov 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Petitions Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
09:25
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
26 Oct 2021, 9:25 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
14:00
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
26 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 27th October 2021
09:25
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
27 Oct 2021, 9:25 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 27th October 2021
14:00
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
27 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
11:30
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 11:30 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
14:00
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Division Votes
Friday 22nd October 2021
Prayers
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 210 Conservative No votes vs 2 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 3 Noes - 336
Speeches
Thursday 21st October 2021
Health and Care Bill (Fifteenth sitting)

I beg to move,

That the Order of the Committee of Tuesday 7 September be amended, in paragraph 1(h), by …

Written Answers
Monday 13th September 2021
Electronic Training Aids
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the maximum permitted electrical discharges (mJ) are …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Goonvean Aggregates Ltd
Address of donor: Boscawen House, Saint Austell PL26 7QF
Amount of donation or nature …
EDM signed
Tuesday 4th June 2019
LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE FOR THE SIXTH TIME
That this House congratulates Liverpool Football Club on its sixth European Cup title victory; applauds the club's players and those …
Supported Legislation
Monday 28th January 2019
Drone (Regulation) (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Steve Double has voted in 326 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Steve Double 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
View All Steve Double Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Michael Gove (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
(22 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(17 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(33 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(22 debate contributions)
Home Office
(19 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Steve Double's debates

St Austell and Newquay 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 St Austell and Newquay signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

Recognise the state of Palestine to help stop the conflict from Israel. Not recognising the Palestinian state allows Israel to continue their persecution of the Palestinians.

The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms.

Being the first to close and still no clue as to when we can open, this seasonal industry is losing its summer profits that allows them to get through the first quarter of next year.

Even if we are allowed to open in December, 1 months profit won't be enough to keep us open in 2021. We need help

The UK hospitality industry. Responsible for around 3m jobs, generating £130bn in activity, resulting in £38bn in taxation. Yet, unlike the Arts or Sports, we do not have a dedicated Minister.

We are asking that a Minister for Hospitality be created for the current, and successive governments.


Latest EDMs signed by Steve Double

4th June 2019
Steve Double signed this EDM on Tuesday 4th June 2019

LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE FOR THE SIXTH TIME

Tabled by: Dan Carden (Labour - Liverpool, Walton)
That this House congratulates Liverpool Football Club on its sixth European Cup title victory; applauds the club's players and those of Tottenham Hotspur for providing a competitive all-English final to Europe's most prestigious club competition; further applauds the club's manager Jürgen Klopp, staff, and dedicated supporters on this magnificent and …
27 signatures
(Most recent: 25 Jul 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 14
Scottish National Party: 5
Conservative: 4
Independent: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
11th April 2019
Steve Double signed this EDM on Thursday 11th April 2019

Exiting the European Union

Tabled by: William Cash (Conservative - Stone)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. 859), dated 11 April 2019, a copy of which was laid before this House on 11 April 2019, be annulled.
82 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Apr 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 73
Democratic Unionist Party: 7
Independent: 1
Non-affiliated: 1
View All Steve Double's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Steve Double, 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.



95 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether her Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading on her Department's application of the Family Test.

Each department has a Family Test lead who is part of DWP's Family Test Network. This Network is the central forum through which DWP have sought input and comments on the support departments need to help with Family Test implementation. This includes Network members feeding into improvements to the existing guidance for officials in all departments on Family Test implementation.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading on his Department's application of the Family Test.

Each department has a Family Test lead who is part of DWP's Family Test Network. This Network is the central forum through which DWP have sought input and comments on the support departments need to help with Family Test implementation. This includes Network members feeding into improvements to the existing guidance for officials in all departments on Family Test implementation.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the number of homes and businesses (a) on and (b) off the gas grid in the UK which will need to replace or upgrade their heating system to work with a heat pump.

Earlier this year, the Department published a report on heat distribution systems in domestic buildings. This report suggests that up to 90 per cent of dwellings in the UK with an existing wet central heating system may need to replace or upgrade their heating system to meet peak winter heating demand with a low temperature heat pump, falling to 68 per cent when using a high temperature heat pump.

This research does not distinguish between homes on and off the gas grid, and does not consider non-domestic buildings. For non-domestic buildings, we intend to explore the suitability of existing heat distribution systems for low temperature operation as part of our forthcoming Non-Domestic Building Survey.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the average cost of fitting a new heating system to a typical UK property to make it compatible with a heat pump.

Earlier this year, the Department published a report on heat distribution systems. This report concluded that the typical cost of retrofitting an entire house with larger radiators for a low temperature heating system, like a low temperature heat pump, would be approximately £1,700 for a one- to two-bedroom house, £2,200 for a three-bedroom house and £2,900 for a five-bedroom house. However, not all homes will require a radiator retrofit to become suitable for a heat pump, meaning the costs would be lower. In addition, the use of high temperature heat pumps is likely to significantly reduce the need to alter existing heat distribution systems.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the number of properties that have sufficient space available for the installation of a water tank in addition to fitting a new heating system.

We do not currently hold data on how many homes have sufficient space available for the installation of a water tank in addition to fitting a new heating system. However, the English Housing Survey suggests the proportion of dwellings that have central heating and a separate hot water cylinder has decreased from half of the stock in 2008 to just over a third in 2018. This suggests a general attrition in the space provision for separate hot water cylinders.

As low carbon heating systems generally require a separate hot water tank, we are exploring this further through projects like the Government-funded Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project and working with industry to develop solutions to internal space constraints, such as providing innovation funding to support the commercialisation of technologies like thermal phase change batteries, which occupy a third of the space of a traditional hot water cylinder for the same hot water output.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the average number of gas boilers that were replaced in UK domestic properties in each of the last five years.

According to the Hot Water Heating and Industry Council (HHIC), 1.67 million boilers were sold in 2019. HHIC have also recently announced that the 12-month rolling average sales figure for boilers had increased by 14% from April 2020 to April 2021, demonstrating a strong response to the impacts of Covid-19 last year.

The majority of boiler purchases are replacements, installed into existing dwellings, with the rest being installed within new build properties.

For previous years, data on annual boiler sales is available under licence from market intelligence sources.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to publish an assessment of the potential average costs to (a) pubs, restaurants and cafes and (b) bed and breakfast, hotels and self-catering accommodation providers associated with the decarbonisation of heating proposals contained within the forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy.

Alongside the Heat and Buildings Strategy, the Government aims to consult on new regulations to phase out fossil fuel heating in businesses and public buildings off the gas grid. We will publish an impact assessment alongside this consultation, which will include details on additional upfront costs to non-domestic buildings for transitioning to low carbon heating. The impact assessment will not break down the cost by building or occupancy type, however.

The Government acknowledges the need to take a fair and proportionate approach in the support it provides businesses on their path to net zero. We will seek views on how to best support businesses transition to low-carbon heating through the upcoming consultation.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to ensure the delivery of key components for the manufacturing of electric vehicles and wind turbines other than lithium ion-batteries.

As part of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, nearly £500m of funding for the Automotive Transformation Fund will be made available in the next four years to build an internationally competitive electric vehicle supply chain. This funding is the first part of the up to £1 billion committed by the Government to ensure that the UK takes advantage of this once in a generation opportunity. The Automotive Transformation Fund will target support at strategically important technologies (batteries, motors, drives, power electronics and fuel cells).

The Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme allocated £160 million to upgrade ports and manufacturing infrastructure across the UK to enable the sector to support jobs and investment in ports, factories and the supply chains, manufacturing the next-generation of offshore wind turbines. In February we announced up to £95m to invest in two new dedicated offshore wind ports in Teesside and Humberside, and in March we announced the first investment, GE Renewables who will build a state-of-the-art blade manufacturing facility at Teesside creating 735 direct jobs.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to develop an industrial magnet industry in the UK.

The Government recognises the importance of industrial magnets in a range of advanced manufacturing applications, including as key components in zero emission vehicles and in wind turbines. The UK magnet industry can therefore play a significant role in our plans for green growth, levelling up across our country and driving emissions to net zero by 2050.

We are investing in R&D and capital projects to develop and embed the next generation of technologies in the UK. For example, through the Automotive Transformation Fund, Less Common Metals (Cheshire) has secured funding for two studies that will look at the feasibility of, and the requirements for, a rare earth permanent magnet plant in the UK. Our Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge is investing £80 million in electrification technologies, including projects relating to the recovery and recycling of rare earth elements, and activities to facilitate the development of rare earth magnet supply chains in the UK.

In addition, the Department for International Trade and other departments are working with UK and overseas mining companies and host Governments, to support and enable UK investment in the extraction, processing and refining of the raw materials required for magnet manufacture. This includes supporting investment in projects to process and refine these materials in the UK.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the policy paper entitled The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, what progress he has made on the delivery of increased offshore wind capacity.

In November 2020, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution committed to deploying 40 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 (including 1GW of floating offshore wind). It also announced £160m of support for offshore wind coastal manufacturing infrastructure across the whole of the UK to support this deployment programme.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme has been very successful in delivering large-scale renewable generation whilst reducing costs through competitive allocation rounds. The next round will open in December 2021 and aims to deliver up to double the renewable capacity of last year’s successful round, potentially providing enough clean energy for up to 10 million homes. The allocation round will be open to floating offshore wind projects and both The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland are taking forward plans for seabed leasing rounds for future floating wind projects.

In February 2021, the Department announced up to £95 million of government investment for two new offshore wind port hubs, to be constructed on Humberside and Teesside. The support for the Teesworks Offshore Manufacturing Centre and the Able Marine Energy Park will help to level up the UK economy, bring in new investment, create high-skilled jobs, and provide new opportunities in ports and the areas around them.

In addition, in the Budget 2021 my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the Government would provide £27 million, subject to business case, for the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone, helping to support North East Scotland to play a leading role in meeting the UK’s net zero ambitions.

Furthermore, GE Renewable Energy announced an investment in a major new offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing plant, the first investment at the Teesworks Offshore Manufacturing Centre. This brand-new manufacturing facility could create 750 direct renewable energy jobs and close to 1,500 indirect jobs in the area.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the critical minerals the UK will require to (a) power every house via wind turbines by 2030, (b) ensure all cars sold in the UK are electric by 2035 and (c) develop industrial rare earth magnets in the UK.

The UK’s world-leading offshore wind industry provides a critical source of renewable energy for our growing economy. As set out in my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial revolution we will quadruple our offshore wind capacity by 2030 to further decarbonise our electricity to power our homes and businesses, and create high-quality green jobs by investing in our ports and coastal regions. Critical minerals will be important in developing offshore wind and coordinated work is taking place across Whitehall departments to ensure there continues to be a secure, long-term supply chain.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre has published analysis identifying opportunities for UK suppliers from the electrification of passenger vehicles over the coming 5 years (https://www.apcuk.co.uk/app/uploads/2020/06/APC-Passenger-car-electrification-report-online-v1.pdf, June 2020).

Our priority is to ensure that the UK continues to enjoy the benefits from our transition to ultra low and zero emission vehicles by continuing to build an agile, innovative and cost-competitive supply chain. With that in mind, we remain committed to securing UK battery manufacturing. As part of the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan, we have already announced £500 million to support the electrification of vehicles and their supply chains, and other strategically important technologies, through the Automotive Transformation Fund over the next four years. We continue to work with investors through the Automotive Transformation Fund, and to progress plans for manufacturing the batteries that we will need for the next generation of electric vehicles here in the UK.

The Government’s Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge is investing £80 million in electrification technologies including power electronics, electric machines and drives (PEMD), providing support for innovation and targeted investment to support development. This includes projects relating to the recovery and recycling of rare earth elements, and activities to facilitate the development of rare earth magnet supply chains in the UK.

BEIS is also supporting innovation in this area, and for example is providing innovation support to Greenspur, a company based in Hertfordshire, to trial a new type of magnet – which does not use rare earth minerals - at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to improve domestic critical minerals supply, with specific regard to (a) mineral rights and (b) planning applications.

The UK is supporting opportunities to secure the domestic extraction of critical materials, such as lithium. For example, we are supporting Cornish Lithium and Geothermal Engineering, who are collaborating to build a zero-carbon lithium extraction pilot plant at an existing site in Cornwall.

The UK is also playing a crucial role in ensuring that strong environmental standards are upheld in the growing deep sea mining industry, to ensure that the International Seabed Authority (ISA) regulatory regime effectively protects these ecosystems for years to come.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that it is essential that there is a sufficient supply of minerals to provide the infrastructure, buildings, energy and goods that the country needs. The NPPF states that mineral planning authorities should plan for a steady and adequate supply of industrial minerals, including by encouraging safeguarding or stockpiling so that important minerals remain available for use. The NPPF states that when determining planning applications, great weight should be given to the benefits of mineral extraction, including to the economy.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much has been paid out to hospitality businesses by local authorities under the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment scheme since 5 January 2021.

The Government has put forward an unprecedented package of support to help businesses which are severely affected by restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives. This package of support includes the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP) which was established in response to the national restrictions that began on 5 January. Through the CBLP, businesses that have been mandated to close by Government, such as non-essential retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, can receive a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 to support them through to spring.


We are working closely with all Local Authorities in England to deliver funding to businesses that are in scope of this scheme as quickly as possible, while safeguarding public funds.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to updated coronavirus restrictions from 1 October 2020, what proportion of grants have been paid out by local authorities to hospitality businesses under the (a) Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) and (b) Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed).

The Government has put forward an unprecedented package of support to help businesses which are severely affected by restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives. This includes extensive grant funding for businesses that have had to close due to national and localised restrictions, as well as funding for businesses severely impacted by restrictions even if not required to close. The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed and Open), which applies to businesses mandated by Government to close alongside businesses that can open during periods of localised restrictions, is incorporated within this funding.


The LRSG (Open) grant programme does not apply during the national restrictions that began on 5 January. The relevant businesses will instead receive grant support through the LRSG (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards. The LRSG (Closed) is also superseded by the LRSG (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards. We are working closely with Local Authorities to ensure that funding is delivered to businesses that are in scope of these schemes as quickly as possible, while safeguarding public funds.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure local authorities are able to effectively pay coronavirus support grants to hospitality businesses under existing schemes.

Hospitality businesses are currently required to close due to the legal restrictions that have been put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives. Closed businesses will be eligible for grants of up to £4,500 per 6-week period of closure plus an additional one-off payment of up to £9,000 via local authorities.

In addition to these mandatory grants for closed businesses, £1.6bn has been allocated to local authorities in discretionary funding allowing them to provide grants to businesses that are not required to close but which are severely impacted.

There has been close engagement with the local government sector throughout the design and implementation of grant support for businesses during the local and national Covid-19 restrictions.

Full guidance to local authorities has been published in respect of all grant schemes, as have several iterations of FAQs picking up on issues raised by local authorities.

The Government is committed to meeting the additional New Burdens costs to local authorities. Financial support has started to be provided through some of the grant schemes. A further New Burdens assessment is currently underway and we will provide the additional funding to local authorities at the earliest opportunity.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what data his Department is (a) collecting and (b) making available on the issuing of coronavirus support grants to the hospitality sector.

Between March and September last year, over £11.68 billion was paid out to over a million business premises under the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF), the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF) and the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF). A full breakdown of grant funding allocated to and distributed by each local authority is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

We have since made further grant support available via Local Authorities to help businesses that have had to close due to national and localised restrictions, as well as funding for businesses severely impacted by restrictions even if not required to close. This includes the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP), the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), and the different Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) schemes. More details are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19#support-for-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-restrictions.


We are not able to share a full breakdown of the funding allocated and distributed by each Local Authority under these new schemes at this stage.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his department's guidance, Check if your business is eligible for a coronavirus grant due to national restrictions (for closed businesses), updated on 21 January 2021, when he plans to publish further guidance on subsidy rules which may affect hospitality businesses.

The EU State Aid rules and limits no longer apply in the UK, except in respect of aid in scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Subsidies must instead meet the terms of the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement as well as the other Free Trade Agreements we have reached with the rest of the world and our WTO commitments.

Existing guidance for Covid-19 Business Support grants which references pre-existing EU State Aid limits have been rolled forward until such point as a new domestic subsidy approach is agreed. The government is currently consulting on its proposed approach for establishing a bespoke UK-wide subsidy control regime.

The government is keeping under close review the impact of subsidy control rules on the ability of businesses in the hospitality sector to access grants, and will publish new guidance as and when circumstances require it.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the maritime industry on that industry's role in supporting the Government's targets for increasing offshore wind production.

On 6 October, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced the Government is increasing its 2030 offshore wind ambition from 30GW to 40GW, including a new ambition of 1GW of floating offshore wind and that £160 million will be made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure.

This increase in offshore wind capacity over the next decade will ensure the UK remains the biggest market in the world and represents an opportunity for companies across the UK, including those in the maritime sector.

The Department has regular engagement with the maritime sector.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what her policy is on the extent of deployment of solar PV in 2020; and if she will make a statement.

We are now exceeding our historic projections on solar PV deployment. In 2013 we estimated that solar capacity would reach between 10 and 12GW by 2020, however latest figures indicate we now have more than 13.3GW of solar PV capacity installed in the UK - enough to power over 3 million UK homes.

The prospects of subsidy-free solar PV are becoming increasingly realistic for developers; several solar PV sites have already deployed, and we expect to see more.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether her Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading her Department's application of the Family Test.

Each department has a Family Test lead who is part of our Family Test Network. This Network is the central forum through which we have sought input and comments on the support departments need to help with Family Test implementation.

This includes Network members feeding into improvements to the existing guidance for officials in all departments on Family Test implementation.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans she has to encourage greater uptake of rooftop solar PV.

Low carbon electricity, including solar – whether at the household level or the national level – is central to the transition to the smart and flexible energy systems of the future.

Since 2010, we have quadrupled the electricity we generate from renewables – installing 99% of the UK’s solar capacity and over 800,000 installations – exceeding our historic projections on solar PV deployment. We now have over 13.3GW of solar capacity installed in the UK, which is enough to power over 3 million UK homes.

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), which came into force on 1 January 2020, gives small scale low-carbon electricity generators, such as homes with solar panels, the right to be paid for the renewable electricity they export to the grid. Renewable generators now have a several competitive SEG tariffs to choose from, in some cases even higher than the FIT export tariff.

Permitted development rights have been introduced allowing the installation of solar panels up to 1 megawatt on domestic properties, schools, businesses and farm buildings without any need for planning permission.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading her Department's application of the Family Test.

Each department has a Family Test lead who is part of our Family Test Network. This Network is the central forum through which we have sought input and comments on the support departments need to help with Family Test implementation

This includes Network members feeding into improvements to DWP and the existing guidance for officials in all departments on Family Test implementation.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to improve the (a) availability and (b) quality of university courses related to the UK's industrial critical minerals needs.

It is one of the government’s highest priorities and an important manifesto commitment to drive up quality and standards in higher education (HE), which is a fundamental part of our levelling up agenda. We owe it to all our students, wherever they are from, that at the very least they can expect a minimum standard of excellence that is going to lead to a qualification that will improve their future prospects and help them achieve their life goals.

In order to be registered with the English HE regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), HE providers in England are required to meet a minimum set of requirements. These are designed to ensure that all students receive a high-quality academic experience, students’ interests are protected and that students’ qualifications hold their value over time. Providers must deliver successful outcomes for all their students, which are recognised and valued by employers, and/or enable further study. The government welcomes the recent OfS consultation on regulating quality and standards in HE and expects the OfS to progress rapidly to ensure that a robust and enhanced quality regime will be operational as soon as possible.

The OfS provides funding to support high-cost science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, which will include high skilled jobs in the minerals industry. Further details can be found here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/skills-and-employment/supporting-stem-subjects/.

The Strategic Priorities Grant, formerly referred to as the HE Teaching Grant, will play an important role in supporting providers and students to develop the skills and knowledge needed locally, regionally, and nationally to support the economy. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has asked the OfS to reform the Grant for the 2021-22 financial year, to ensure that more of taxpayers’ money is spent on supporting HE provision which aligns with national priorities, such as healthcare, STEM and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

The OfS will consult on these changes before final allocations for the 2021-22 financial year are confirmed.

We are also reforming higher technical education to make it more prestigious and popular so that it delivers the skills employers need. We will introduce high-quality, nationally recognised approved higher technical qualifications that meet employer needs, starting with the digital route from September 2022.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading on his Department's application to the Family Test.

Each department has a Family Test lead who is part of our Family Test Network. This network is the central forum through which we have sought input and comments on the support that departments need to help with Family Test implementation. This includes network members feeding into improvements to the existing guidance for officials in all departments on Family Test implementation.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the maximum permitted electrical discharges (mJ) are for (a) dog training collars and (b) livestock fencing.

The UK is a global leader in animal welfare and this Government is committed to ensuring high standards. The maximum permitted electrical discharge for dog training collars and livestock fencing is not regulated under animal welfare legislation. However, such systems may be subject to other legislation which regulates the design and installation of electrical systems.

As set out in our Action Plan for Animal Welfare launched on 12 May 2021 we propose to ban some electronic training collars (e collars). Our decision reflects the concern that handheld remote-controlled devices can be all too easily open to abuse and therefore be harmful to animal welfare.

Regarding electric livestock fencing, our codes of recommendations and animal welfare guides for cattle, horses and sheep state that any electrical discharge must be felt only as slight discomfort by the animal. Those responsible for the welfare of farmed animals must therefore ensure that any electric fences are designed, constructed, used and maintained properly, and that systems prevent electricity being conducted anywhere it should not be, for example, gates and water troughs.

Breaching a provision within the codes is not an offence in itself, but if proceedings are brought against someone for an offence under the Animal Welfare Act (2006), the Court will look at whether or not they have complied with the relevant code in deciding whether they have committed an offence.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the prevalence of collisions between cetaceans and vessels, referred to as ship strikes, in UK waters or involving UK ships in each of the last three years.

We recently let a 10-year contract for the continuation of our widely respected UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme. This scheme investigates the causes of death of stranded cetaceans around the UK coast, improving our understanding of, and ability to tackle, key threats like ship strikes. Between 2016 and 2020, the CSIP team examined 663 cetaceans and found only 11 showed evidence of ship strikes. While ship strikes are a serious threat to cetaceans globally, there is low prevalence of incidents occurring within UK waters.

We work through the Conservation and Scientific Committees of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to understand and reduce the threat posed by ship strikes. The IWC is also collaborating with other relevant organisations at both regional and inter-governmental levels to share information and expertise. We recently contributed £20k to the IWC to support efforts to better understand and mitigate ship strikes.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much his Department has spent preventing and tackling UK cetacean strandings in each year since 2015.

Since 2015, we have spent over £3.7 million on work to better understand and mitigate threats to cetaceans to help to reduce the likelihood of strandings taking place.

Over £1.4 million of which is funding for the Cetacean Stranding Investigation Programme, which aims to improve our understanding of, and ability to tackle, key threats to cetaceans. This programme coordinates the response to cetacean strandings in the UK and, where it has not been possible to return the animal to the sea, it provides an assessment to determine the cause of death. We have recently let a 10-year contract to continue this important work.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to develop a critical mineral circular economy industry in the UK.

In line with our Resources and Waste Strategy, published in December 2018, we are taking steps to move from a linear economy to a more circular economy. This includes by seeking new legislative powers under the landmark Environment Bill that will enable us to: drive design for durability, reparability and recyclability of products such as electronics; require provision of information on products such as material content, including Critical Raw Materials (CRMs); and put in place extended producer responsibility schemes. We are also working with BEIS to utilise our repatriated EU powers to introduce eco-design measures relating to energy-using products. Our planned review of, and subsequent consultation on, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, and the Batteries Regulations, will also provide an opportunity for consideration of the management of critical minerals. At this stage there are no plans to use the powers in the Environment Bill, or other powers, to set specific recycling targets for critical minerals.

In addition, in November 2020 we announced 5 new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres as part of £30 million of Government investment. Two of these relate to CRMs and metals – the UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre for Technology Metals, and the UKRI Interdisciplinary Centre for Circular Metal. These will explore how reusing waste materials could deliver environmental benefits and boost the UK economy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of which waste streams should be included in the proposed extended producer responsibility scheme in the Waste and Resource Strategy.

In the Resources and Waste Strategy, we committed to looking into and consulting on extended producer responsibility (EPR) for five new waste-streams by 2025, and consulting on two of these by 2022. We have currently identified our five priority waste-streams as: textiles; fishing gear; certain products in construction and demolition; bulky waste; and vehicle tyres. This list is not fixed and does not exclude the potential to review and consult on EPR for other waste streams if these are identified as being of equal or higher priority.

We are currently undertaking further scoping and research work to inform our prioritisation of these waste-streams for consultation on the basis of environmental impact.

We have also already consulted last year on EPR for packaging through our reforms to the packaging producer responsibility system. We will consult again this year.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of litter-related activities by major tobacco companies to tackle tobacco litter.

The Government has made no specific recent assessment of the UK tobacco industry’s contribution to tackling smoking-related litter. We would like to see the tobacco industry delivering on the commitment given by the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association to tackle the litter created by its products and their users. The Government supports ongoing efforts by environmental organisation Keep Britain Tidy to work in partnership with the tobacco industry to devise a voluntary scheme through which the industry can contribute to the clean-up of cigarette related litter, and is watching this space with interest. However, this must be achieved without breaching the UK’s international obligations, such as protecting our tobacco control and public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Tobacco packaging is covered by the current producer responsibility regulations, which require companies to recycle a proportion of the packaging waste they place on the market. They will also be subject to the forthcoming extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme for packaging which will cover the full net costs of managing packaging at its end of life. In our consultation we proposed that producer fees should cover the full cost to local authorities of dealing with littered and fly-tipped packaging waste.

In the Resources and Waste Strategy, we committed to looking into and consulting on EPR for five new waste-streams by 2025, and consulting on two of these by 2022. Waste tobacco filters were not included in this list of priorities but progress on the industry's voluntary approach to litter reduction will be monitored.

The EU’s Single-Use Plastics Directive includes measures to implement an EPR scheme for tobacco products with filters, and filters marketed for use in combination with tobacco products, which should cover the costs of awareness raising, data gathering and litter clean-up of these products.

Now that the UK has left the EU, the Government will use this opportunity to refresh and renew our environmental policy. In the Resources and Waste Strategy, we committed to meeting or exceeding the ambition of the EU Directive, and we will do this in a way that works best for the UK’s aspirations in this policy area.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading on the application of the Family Test.

Each department has a function that leads on ensuring Family Test (FT) requirements are embedded, and is part of the Civil Service Family Test Network.

This Network is the central forum through which we have sought input and comments on the support departments need to help with FT implementation. Members feed improvements into existing guidance for officials in all departments on FT implementation.

Within Defra the Secondary Legislation Business Partner Team has responsibility for ensuring there is consistent application of the FT. All new policy development must include a FT assessment, which policy leads access via the Cabinet Office cleared guidance.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 5 March 2021 to Question 160719 on Minerals: Procurement, what the agreed actions to mitigate risks of potential disruption to the UK's critical minerals supply chains are.

The Government’s approach to supply chain resilience emphasises the importance of free, fair, and open trade, and our approach to securing the UK’s critical minerals supply chains reflects this. This includes actions to diversify our global sources of critical raw materials; to engage international partners; and to identify long-term opportunities to strengthen and protect UK supply.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to attract critical mineral companies to (a) invest in UK businesses and (b) set up business in the UK.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) and partners in other Departments are working together to identify and target critical minerals extractive, processing and refining companies to invest in the UK, with a focus on the critical raw materials required to deliver Industrial Strategy objectives. Our Foreign Direct Investment strategy is similarly focused on securing investment in the extraction and, crucially, processing of these commodities. This includes support for the development of indigenous resources, such as lithium in Cornwall, through our Mining High Potential Opportunity programme, along with driving processing capacity.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the UK’s global and regional competitiveness in relation to critical minerals supply chains.

My Department has assessed the risks of potential disruption to the UK’s critical minerals supply chains and agreed actions to mitigate these risks and make our supply chains better able to withstand future shocks.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, which international counterparts she is in discussions with on critical mineral supply chains.

My Department is in regular discussions regarding critical mineral supply chains with a range of trading partners including Five Eyes allies. DIT and the Cabinet Office recently hosted an international conference to facilitate technical discussions with officials and experts on the global challenges surrounding critical mineral mining.

4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans her Department has to support the maritime sector as part of the economic recovery from covid-19.

With 95% of our imports and exports reliant on the sea and just under 1 million jobs dependent on maritime related activities, the maritime sector is critical to the UK’s economy. Uncertainties around global recovery and fluctuations in global trade have severely impacted the sector.

The Department for International Trade’s (DIT) support for the maritime sector’s recovery is being developed in partnership with the Department for Transport (DfT), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and key industry bodies; the DfT COVID-19 recovery plan will be published in the coming months.

DIT is delivering a programme of virtual trade events to help the sector reach existing and potential customers across the globe, mitigating some of the impact of COVID-19 travel restrictions on physical trade events. DIT remains committed to delivering Promoting the UK’s world-class global maritime offer, the Department’s five-year plan for the sector, focused on the key themes and drivers of growth identified in Government’s Maritime 2050 Strategy.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the scope of the Global Travel Taskforce’s report due to be published on 12 April 2021 on the reopening of international travel will include the cruise sector; and if he will make a statement.

The successor to the Global Travel Taskforce report will consider a safe and sustainable return to international travel. It will include the cruise sector and will determine the timelines for international cruise restart.

The report’s recommendations will be aimed at facilitating a return to international travel as soon as is possible, while still managing risk from imported cases and variants of concern. The Taskforce will report on 12 April to the Prime Minister and will work with UK representatives of the travel sector, including cruise operators and trade associations. Following that, the Government will determine when international travel should resume, which will be no earlier than 17 May.

I am in regular contact with the cruise sector and will engage with them once timelines have been determined.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the maritime industry on funding for feasibility projects relating to maritime decarbonisation.

On 18 November the Prime Minister announced, as part of his Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, £20 million for a Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition to develop clean maritime technology, such as feasibility studies on key sites. My officials and I have had preliminary discussions with representatives from the maritime sector concerning the commitments in the Ten Point Plan, including the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition. Further information on the terms of the competition will be published in due course.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of UK ports on their role in contributing to the Government's net zero emissions target.

The Department has regular meetings at both Ministerial and Official level with individual ports and their trade representatives on wide a range of issues including decarbonisation.

The UK’s ports are covered by both the Net Zero 2050 target, and our national carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act. Ports will need to decarbonise alongside the wider UK economy.

Most recently I have met with the board members of the UK Major Ports Group, one of the two port trade associations in the UK, on the 27th of November. We discussed a range of issues of interest to the sector including decarbonisation.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to make rail fares more flexible for commuters in (a) St Austell and Newquay constituency and (b) throughout the UK to reflect the change in working patterns (i) during and (ii) after the covid-19 outbreak.

Government recognises that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a fundamental change in working patterns and that this could have long-term effects on commuter behaviours.

In response, the Department for Transport has proactively worked with the rail industry, and is currently considering proposals received from train operators, including Great Western Railway, to try to ensure better value and convenience for part-time and flexible commuters.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to reform the regulations governing rail fares to reflect changes in working patterns throughout the UK.

The Government remains committed to modernising rail fares and ticketing and recognises that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a fundamental change in working patterns which could have long-term effects on commuter behaviours. We are actively considering how we can modernise our fares and ticketing offer, to develop more convenient and better value options for passengers.

However, these are unprecedented times and our immediate focus is on ensuring that we keep the railway available and safe for those who rely upon it.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing to the maritime sector as part of the economic recovery from covid-19.

The maritime sector plays a vital role in the UK economy and continues to provide vital freight and key worker services throughout the pandemic. However, as with many parts of the economy, it has faced significant disruption and challenges. That is why the Chancellor announced a £330bn package of financial support to support businesses and employees during these unprecedented times. In addition, the Department provided bespoke financial support to ensure that critical lifeline and freight services continued to operate through the most challenging period.

My Department is now working closely across the maritime sector on their restart plans identifying the support that is needed to enable the safe resumption and continued increase of services and operations. We are also working with the sector on a longer-term Maritime Recovery Plan which will build on the Maritime 2050 launched by the Government last year. The Recovery Plan will draw on the plans the industry has already provided and consider both fiscal and non-fiscal opportunities.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to decarbonise the maritime sector as part of meeting the net zero target by 2050.

The Department is pursuing efforts at both domestic and international levels to decarbonise the maritime sector.

Domestically work has continued on delivering the ambition set out in the Clean Maritime Plan, including research into zero emissions clusters and consideration of the tax treatment of marine fuel as part of a wider Treasury initiative, and the Department is currently preparing a package of further, ambitious measures for inclusion in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

Internationally, we are working with other high ambition States at the International Maritime Organization to agree ambitious measures to peak, and rapidly reducing emissions from the sector, in line with the IMO’s initial strategy on Greenhouse Gas.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with representatives of the maritime sector on the level of funding required to decarbonise maritime.

My officials have regularly engaged with the UK maritime industry on this matter, particularly since the launch of the Clean Maritime Council, which was established in 2018 to ensure strong collaboration between Government, industry and academia on maritime decarbonisation. The Council underpinned the publication of the Clean Maritime Plan, which was published in July 2019 and made a number of recommendations relating to funding.

Key recommendations included the commitment by Government to funding a competition for innovation in clean maritime in 2019 and a round of Government grant support for early stage research projects in the same year. Both commitments have been delivered, with the Clean Maritime Call funding round having supported 24 green shipping projects and having been six-times oversubscribed.

Today my officials continue to engage with industry to develop a Covid-19 Recovery Plan for Maritime. The Recovery Plan will consider how economic recovery for the maritime sector can be aligned with the need to reduce and eventually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. Ensuring that we plan for a green recovery has been jointly identified by Government and industry as a top priority.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance he has issued to local councils on the introduction of hedgehog crossing signs.

The Department for Transport has not issued specific guidance to local authorities on the introduction of the hedgehog sign. General guidance on animal warning signs is provided in Chapter 4 of the Traffic Signs Manual.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading on his Department's application of the Family Test.

The Better Regulation Unit leads on the application of the Family Test at the Department for Transport.

Where relevant, the effects of regulatory policies that may directly or indirectly affect family relationships or formations are considered through the Regulatory Impact Assessment process.

Within the Better Regulation Unit a Family Test Lead has been identified who represents the Department at the Family Test Network, hosted by the Department for Work and Pensions, to ensure we play an active role in Family Test policy development and implement the latest best practices and guidance.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading on her Department's application of the Family Test.

As the lead department for the Family Test, DWP is currently leading on work to strengthen implementation of the Family Test across government. As part of this work, we set up the Family Test Network, which was designed to bring departments together to share best practice and work collaboratively to strengthen implementation of the Family Test.

Each department has a Family Test lead who is part of our Family Test Network. This Network is the central forum through which we have sought input and comments on the support departments need to help with Family Test implementation. This includes Network members feeding into improvements to the existing guidance for officials in all departments on Family Test implementation.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing with the US Administration an international fund for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

The UK government shares the objective of increasing understanding and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. In support of this, we continue to fund peacebuilding projects focused on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. US planning for the International Fund is at a very early stage and they have not yet approached us to discuss it. Once more information is available, we will consider options for collaboration

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what factors he will assess to reach a decision on whether to remove travel advice relating specifically to cruises in order to bring cruises under global travel advice in line with other types of transport.

he Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against international cruising informed by public health risk assessments. This advice is kept under continuous review. The risk assessments to inform travel advice from Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care are not published separately.

National restrictions on international travel remain in place, including only permitting travel abroad for a limited number of reasons set out in law. Holiday travel is not included.

The FCDO remains fully committed to working closely with the Department for Transport and key industry leaders, informed by the changing public health situation during this pandemic to agree on the steps required to restart international cruises safely.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report of 24 December 2020 by Christian Solidarity Worldwide entitled Church leaders abducted amid renewed violence in Kaduna state, what recent assessment his Department has made of the security situation in Nigeria; and what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports of increased communications and co-ordination between (a) terrorist factions from the north east and (b) rural banditry in the north west of that country.

For over a decade, terrorist groups, including Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, have caused immense suffering to local communities, predominantly in North East Nigeria and the wider Lake Chad Basin region. We are aware that Boko Haram and other terrorist groups have been attempting to develop a presence in North West Nigeria for many years and have claimed responsibility for a number of incidents in the region. We are also aware that Boko Haram have claimed responsibility for attacks they have not directly conducted. We continue to monitor developments closely and are committed to helping Nigeria tackle the threat posed by the terrorist groups in North East Nigeria. We are providing a comprehensive package of humanitarian and stabilisation assistance to Nigeria to help tackle the threat and support affected communities.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of (a) the attack on 2 December 2020 on the Christ Apostolic Church near Abeokuta in Ogun state and (b) other recent attacks on Christian communities by Fulani assailants in southern Nigeria.

The FCDO condemns all attacks on places of worship including these recent attacks in southern Nigeria. We continue to encourage the Government of Nigeria to take urgent action to protect all those at risk of inter-communal violence, to bring perpetrators to justice, and to implement long-term solutions that address the root causes of such violence and meet the needs of all communities. The FCDO is supporting this through the development of a new conflict, security and justice programme, which aims to reduce levels of inter-communal violence by building more effective conflict-management systems.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made representations to his counterpart in Nigeria on the continuing intimidation of (a) the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Matthew Kukah who is falsely accused of insulting Islam, (b) former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore who was assaulted, detained and faces excessive charges and (c) other civil society actors expressing legitimate dissent.

We are concerned by reports of continuing intimidation of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, and the detention of journalist and opposition leader Omoyele Sowore. The Government makes clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of recognising and respecting citizens' rights to peaceful protest. We continue to push the Nigerian police to uphold human rights and Nigeria's rule of law in all operations, investigate any incidents of brutality, and hold those responsible to account. The British High Commissioner raises our concerns about intimidation of civil society groups and peaceful activists when she meets with the Government of Nigeria.

14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to include wholesalers in the guidance for local authorities for the administration of the new business rates relief fund.

The Government has announced a £1.5 billion pot of additional business rates relief for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have not otherwise been eligible for existing reliefs. The statement by the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government of 25 March 2021 explained the relief will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area and the sector-specific economic impacts of COVID-19.

Formal guidance will follow in due course, setting out the specific considerations that Local Authorities (LAs) should have regard for when providing relief. Relief will be for LAs to award on a discretionary basis. Funding will be available once the legislation relating to material change in circumstance provisions has passed and LAs have established their own local relief schemes. The Government will support LAs to do this as quickly as possible, including through new burdens funding.

14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of including wholesalers in the guidance for local authorities on the administration of the new business rates relief fund.

The Government has announced a £1.5 billion pot of additional business rates relief for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have not otherwise been eligible for existing reliefs. The statement by the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government of 25 March 2021 explained the relief will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area and the sector-specific economic impacts of COVID-19.

Formal guidance will follow in due course, setting out the specific considerations that Local Authorities (LAs) should have regard for when providing relief. Relief will be for LAs to award on a discretionary basis. Funding will be available once the legislation relating to material change in circumstance provisions has passed and LAs have established their own local relief schemes. The Government will support LAs to do this as quickly as possible, including through new burdens funding.

14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he we will meet with the Federation of Wholesale Distributors to discuss practicalities involved with developing a business rates support system for businesses affected by the covid-19 outside the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors.

The Government has announced a £1.5 billion pot of additional business rates relief for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have not otherwise been eligible for existing reliefs. The statement by the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government of 25 March 2021 explained the relief will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area and the sector-specific economic impacts of COVID-19.

Formal guidance will follow in due course, setting out the specific considerations that Local Authorities (LAs) should have regard for when providing relief. Relief will be for LAs to award on a discretionary basis. Funding will be available once the legislation relating to material change in circumstance provisions has passed and LAs have established their own local relief schemes. The Government will support LAs to do this as quickly as possible, including through new burdens funding.

14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when his Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals for business rates support to be granted to businesses affected by covid-19 outside the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

The Government has announced a £1.5 billion pot of additional business rates relief for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have not otherwise been eligible for existing reliefs. The statement by the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government of 25 March 2021 explained the relief will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area and the sector-specific economic impacts of COVID-19.

Formal guidance will follow in due course, setting out the specific considerations that Local Authorities (LAs) should have regard for when providing relief. Relief will be for LAs to award on a discretionary basis. Funding will be available once the legislation relating to material change in circumstance provisions has passed and LAs have established their own local relief schemes. The Government will support LAs to do this as quickly as possible, including through new burdens funding.

14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the economic effect on the wholesale sector of the time taken to start the new business rates relief fund.

The Government has announced a £1.5 billion pot of additional business rates relief for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have not otherwise been eligible for existing reliefs. The statement by the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government of 25 March 2021 explained the relief will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area and the sector-specific economic impacts of COVID-19.

Formal guidance will follow in due course, setting out the specific considerations that Local Authorities (LAs) should have regard for when providing relief. Relief will be for LAs to award on a discretionary basis. Funding will be available once the legislation relating to material change in circumstance provisions has passed and LAs have established their own local relief schemes. The Government will support LAs to do this as quickly as possible, including through new burdens funding.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the re-introduction of business rates from 1 April 2021 on hospitality businesses.

This year the Government has provided an unprecedented business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties due to the direct adverse effects of COVID-19, worth about £10 billion, and has frozen the business rates multiplier for all businesses for 2021-22.

The Government has provided various schemes to support firms, including wholesalers, including Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, Bounce Back Loans, grants and VAT deferrals.

The Budget will set out the next phase of the Government’s plans to tackle the virus, protect jobs and support business.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending business rates relief to airports in England.

In response to COVID-19 the Government expanded on previous support for the high street to support those businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic and reductions in consumer footfall. A range of measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for business rates relief, has also been made available.

The Government recognises the challenging circumstances facing the aviation industry as a result of COVID-19. On 24 November the Government announced a package of financial support for English commercial airports and ground handlers. This support, which will shore up jobs and reinforce local economies, will be equivalent to the business rates liabilities of each business, up to a maximum of £8 million per site, and subject to certain conditions. This scheme will open in the New Year.

The Government has also announced that from 15 December, passengers returning to England from countries not on the travel corridor list will have the option to pay for and take a test after five days of self-isolation, with a negative test result releasing them from the rest of the self-isolation period. This new testing scheme will allow passengers to travel more freely, driving international business and supporting the travel industry as it continues to rebuild out of the pandemic.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reasons airports in England were not included in the business rates relief plans for retail and hospitality businesses.

In response to COVID-19 the Government expanded on previous support for the high street to support those businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic and reductions in consumer footfall. A range of measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for business rates relief, has also been made available.

The Government recognises the challenging circumstances facing the aviation industry as a result of COVID-19. On 24 November the Government announced a package of financial support for English commercial airports and ground handlers. This support, which will shore up jobs and reinforce local economies, will be equivalent to the business rates liabilities of each business, up to a maximum of £8 million per site, and subject to certain conditions. This scheme will open in the New Year.

The Government has also announced that from 15 December, passengers returning to England from countries not on the travel corridor list will have the option to pay for and take a test after five days of self-isolation, with a negative test result releasing them from the rest of the self-isolation period. This new testing scheme will allow passengers to travel more freely, driving international business and supporting the travel industry as it continues to rebuild out of the pandemic.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the effect of Air Passenger Duty on regional and international connectivity.

As announced on 14 January, HM Treasury is reviewing Air Passenger Duty to ensure regional connectivity is strengthened while meeting the UK’s climate change commitments to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

HM Treasury is engaging with relevant departments as part of this review.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of Air Passenger Duty on the financial viability of routes and airlines.

As announced on 14 January, HM Treasury is reviewing Air Passenger Duty to ensure regional connectivity is strengthened while meeting the UK’s climate change commitments to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

HM Treasury is engaging with relevant departments as part of this review.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading on his Department's application of the Family Test.

Each department has a Family Test lead official who is part of DWP’s Family Test Network. This Network is the central forum through which DWP have sought input and comments on the support departments need to help with Family Test implementation.

This includes Network members feeding into improvements to the existing guidance on Family Test implementation issued to officials in all departments.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how regularly she is provided with updates on the labour needs of the UK ornamental horticulture sector.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs assess the labour needs of the whole of horticulture sector and works closely with the Home Office.

We have already expanded the Seasonal Workers Pilot from 10,000 to 30,000 places for 2021 to allow us to further test how it operates, whilst helping farmers and growers edible horticulture sector adjust to changes to the labour market.

More generally, the government wants employers to focus on training and investing in our domestic work force, especially those needing to find new employment as a result of the impact of the measures necessary to tackle Covid-19, rather than relying on labour from abroad. Employers should engage with the Department for Work and Pensions in the first instance, as they are best placed to help companies with recruitment issues.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when (a) she or (b) a Minister in her Department last met a representative from the ornamental horticulture sector to discuss the labour needs of the sector.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs assess the labour needs of the whole of horticulture sector and works closely with the Home Office.

We have already expanded the Seasonal Workers Pilot from 10,000 to 30,000 places for 2021 to allow us to further test how it operates, whilst helping farmers and growers edible horticulture sector adjust to changes to the labour market.

More generally, the government wants employers to focus on training and investing in our domestic work force, especially those needing to find new employment as a result of the impact of the measures necessary to tackle Covid-19, rather than relying on labour from abroad. Employers should engage with the Department for Work and Pensions in the first instance, as they are best placed to help companies with recruitment issues.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the UK edible horticulture sector on the need for additional migrant workers in that sector.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs assess the labour needs of the whole of horticulture sector and works closely with the Home Office.

We have already expanded the Seasonal Workers Pilot from 10,000 to 30,000 places for 2021 to allow us to further test how it operates, whilst helping farmers and growers edible horticulture sector adjust to changes to the labour market.

More generally, the government wants employers to focus on training and investing in our domestic work force, especially those needing to find new employment as a result of the impact of the measures necessary to tackle Covid-19, rather than relying on labour from abroad. Employers should engage with the Department for Work and Pensions in the first instance, as they are best placed to help companies with recruitment issues.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the UK ornamental horticulture sector on the need for additional migrant workers in that sector.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs assess the labour needs of the whole of horticulture sector and works closely with the Home Office.

We have already expanded the Seasonal Workers Pilot from 10,000 to 30,000 places for 2021 to allow us to further test how it operates, whilst helping farmers and growers edible horticulture sector adjust to changes to the labour market.

More generally, the government wants employers to focus on training and investing in our domestic work force, especially those needing to find new employment as a result of the impact of the measures necessary to tackle Covid-19, rather than relying on labour from abroad. Employers should engage with the Department for Work and Pensions in the first instance, as they are best placed to help companies with recruitment issues.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the extent of involvement of Hamas’s political wing in its military activities; and if she will make a statement.

The Government does not routinely comment on intelligence matters.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the maximum queue time for non-EEA passengers at Heathrow Airport during the period of national restrictions in England from 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020.

Border Force is confident that resources to meet anticipated overall operational requirements are in place for the Christmas and transition period, with Border Force recruiting sufficient additional frontline staff and continuing to build staffing levels during 2020 across all critical ports. This will ensure full operational readiness at the UK border to meet the requirements from the end of transition.

Resource and staffing requirements at every port, including Heathrow, are continually reviewed by Border Force working with airport operators including Heathrow Airport Ltd, and resources are deployed flexibly as and when they are required.

Wait times in airports can be caused by a number of factors, not just related to resourcing. This includes the volume of immigration case working, additional support, checks in relation to Covid-19, and specific security activity. Our teams seek to balance this range of tasking each day. Whilst mindful of passenger wait times and experience, our primary objective is to ensure the security of the border.

New Border Force staff receive a comprehensive package of training prior to operational deployment. comprehensive guidance and training plans have been developed to upskill BF frontline officers in new policy, process and system changes for the end of the Transition Period. Initial training is further reinforced and supplemented by on the job mentoring once new staff have been deployed to UK ports.

Figures for the queue time for non-EEA passengers during the period from 5 November 2020 2 December 2020 are yet to be published.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Dec 2020
What progress her Department has made on introducing a points-based immigration system.

Mr Speaker the Government has made excellent progress on delivering one of the key promises made to the British people at the last election.

I am very pleased to say we have now launched a number of new routes under our firmer, fairer, skills-based points-based system, including the flagship Skilled Worker route.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that there is no disruption to EU passengers at UK airports after the end of the transition period from 1 January 2021.

From 1 January 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members will be subject to UK immigration control on the same basis as non-EEA nationals.

The Government has already set out its position that EU, EEA and Swiss nationals can continue to use e-passport gates, beyond the end of the transition period, on a similar basis to how nationals of the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and South Korea currently use them.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to ensure that Border Force has (a) resources and (b) processes in place at airports after the end of the transition period from 1 January 2021.

Border Force is continuing to build a pipeline of resource required to meet end of Transition requirements. In addition to c.900 officers recruited prior to FY 20/21, Border Force are currently recruiting an additional c.1100 staff - c.670 of these are required for the end of the Transition Period, with the remainder being recruited to be ready for the completion of phased border controls in July 2021.

Border Force is ensuring maximum flexibility in its recruitment and deployment model, including increasing the size of its mobile Readiness Taskforce to c.400 staff, which will enable swift deployment of staff to respond to peaks and pressures as they occur.

Border Force is confident that resources will meet the anticipated overall operational requirements by the end of December. This will be primarily through permanent recruitment, with any gaps filled through contingency routes.

In addition to providing comprehensive training to all new starters, Border Force is also currently delivering a programme of training for existing staff covering changes to policy and processes at the end of the Transition Period.

It is though worth noting international passenger travel has been greatly reduced by restrictions implemented worldwide in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the average passenger queue times at the UK border at Heathrow Airport over Summer 2020.

Operational pressures at Heathrow in July, August and September 2020 resulted in periods where wait time service level agreements (SLAs) have not been met. As you know, Border Force undertake 100% checks on everyone arriving in the UK and there will be occasions when large amounts of passengers arrive in an un-forecast short space of time, resulting in a longer wait. Like all public services operating throughout this unprecedented global pandemic, there have been additional pressures placed on Border Force, but the safety of the public and our staff remains our priority.

As well as being guided by social-distancing measures in relation to the number of officers that could be deployed on the Primary Control Point, a significant number of passengers had failed to complete the Passenger Locator Forms required as part of the health measures at the border processes. Ensuring that these forms are completed is an important part of the protection of the UK in respect to being able to complement the Government’s track and trace programme should anyone on a flight or entry route later discover to be infected with Coronavirus; and the ability for PHE and the police to follow up in-country if required.

If travellers refuse to provide their contact details, they could be fined. In addition to their routine checks, Border Force Officers conduct spot checks on passenger locator forms The failure of passengers to complete the passenger locator form and the ensuing increase to transaction times has been compounded by the commercial decision made by Heathrow Airport Limited to terminate their contract with Omniserv, who performed vital customer service roles in the arrival halls. This included directing passengers to the correct queue, directing passengers to Border Force Officers on the passport control, and hosting the e-Passport Gates. With no replacement for these roles, passenger flow and throughput has been detrimentally impacted

On top of this, airlines are adopting focussed marketing and pricing campaigns to stimulate the revival of the aviation sector. For the same reasons, Heathrow Airport Ltd has allocated several new airlines arrival slots at Heathrow. The cumulative effect of these measures has been to make travel to the United Kingdom more affordable and accessible to passengers changing their demographic. This means an increase in those passengers requiring further examination by a Border Force Officer in order to keep our country safe.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): immigration guidance, updated on 27 February 2020, whether (a) Hong Kong nationals and (b) British National (Overseas) passport holders are eligible to have their visas automatically extended.

Hong Kong Nationals, British National (Overseas) Passport holders and foreign nationals in the UK legally and whose visa expired after 24 January are able to extend their visa using this form https://gov.smartwebportal.co.uk/homeoffice/public/ho_form.html if they cannot leave the UK because of restrictions related to coronavirus.

The extension will last until 31 July and will apply to anyone whose leave expired after the 24 January and cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation. To help those who want to apply for visas to stay in the UK long-term, the Home Office is also temporarily expanding the in-country switching provisions until 31 July. Those who already had their visa extended to 31 May 2020, will have their visa extended automatically to 31 July 2020.

A dedicated help centre has been established for those who need assistance. The best way to contact the helpline is via email on CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk or on 0800 678 1767. It is open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Those who contact the Home Office for these visa extensions will be expected to return to their home countries as soon as possible once flight and border restrictions are lifted. No immigration enforcement action will be undertaken during this time for those who email the Home Office as outlined above.

More details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-visa-extensions-for-those-unable-to-return-home-due-to-coronavirus

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many British National Overseas passport holders there were in Hong Kong in each year since the introduction of that category of passport; whether she plans to review the rights afforded to those passport holders; and if she will make a statement.

We are unable to provide data on the volume of British National (Overseas) passports in circulation (valid) prior to 31 December 2015 as the data could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

We do not hold data on the number of British National Overseas passport holder’s resident in Hong Kong. The table below contains information on the number of British National (Overseas) passports in circulation from 2015 to 2019.

Year

Nationality Description

Number of passports (Volume)

31 December 2015

British National (Overseas)

143,219

31 December 2016

British National (Overseas)

152,351

31 December 2017

British National (Overseas)

158,107

31 December 2018

British National (Overseas)

169,653

31 December 2019

British National (Overseas)

314,779

BN(O) status is part of the delicate balance in negotiations that led to the Sino-British Joint Declaration. We believe it would not be right to change the legal status of BN(O)s at this point in time.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of British National (Overseas) passport holders who (a) applied for asylum in the UK and (b) were successfully granted (i) refugee or (ii) humanitarian protection status between 2015 and 2019.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications, initial decisions and resettlement in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Data on the number of asylum applications from British National (Overseas), and the initial decisions of such applications are published in tables Asy_D01 and Asy_D02 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to year ending September 2019. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘summary tables’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress she has made on her Departments review of the restrictions that prevent asylum seekers from working.

Asylum seeker right to work is a complex issue and it is crucial we take the time to get this right. We are listening carefully to the arguments and considering the evidence put forward on the issue. Work on the review is ongoing.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the Migration Advisory Committee’s January 2020 report on a points-based system and salary threshold for immigration.

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union and the end of free movement, we will deliver a new points-based immigration system that allows us to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world and works for all parts of the UK.

The independent Migration Advisory Committee published its report on salary thresholds and the points-based system on the 28 January. We will consider carefully its findings and recommendations before taking any final decisions.

We will set out proposals for the future immigration system in the near future.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading her Department's application of the Family Test.

The Government is committed to supporting families, including by tackling the scourge of domestic abuse and reducing the high harm of crime to our society.

The Home Office has a Family Test lead responsible for how the Family Test is applied. They are part of the Family Test Network, a cross-government forum to improve coordination and implementation.

This includes feeding into improvements to the existing guidance for officials in all departments on the Family Test.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the (a) number of illegal migrants who have entered the UK by crossing the English Channel and (b) proportion of such migrants that have been returned to France in the last 12 months.

Information regarding migrants crossing the English Channel was provided to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 5 March 2019 which gave the number of migrants detected entering the UK by small boats from January 2018 to February 2019 as 428.

On 22 July 2019 the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid provided an additional figure to Home Affairs Select Committee that up to 21 July 2019 725 migrants had crossed the English Channel.

Over 125 people who arrived on small boats have been returned to Europe.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2021 to Question 327 on Armed Forces: Overseas Aid, what estimate has made of the total cost of the delivery of aid and relief efforts by the UK's armed forces in (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21.

Overseas aid provided through the Official Development Assistance (ODA) mechanism is reported in accordance with the calendar year rather than financial year, therefore, Defence had reported a spend of £6.08 million in 2019 and a provisional figure of £5.18 million has been reported in 2020. The expenditure for 2021 is still to be determined and will be published in 2022. The cost of Defence providing overseas relief in 2019-20 totalled £730,000 and £548,000 in 2020-21, however these figures do not include Defence's support to the COVID19 crisis overseas (Operation BROADSHARE), which to date is estimated to have cost £370,000. There may be other instances between 2019-2021 where Defence provided aid/relief, however these were not recorded centrally.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what contribution the armed forces have made towards the delivery of humanitarian relief and other forms of overseas aid in the last three years.

Defence assets are regularly used to facilitate transport of UK emergency relief to countries impacted by natural disasters. The delivery of emergency aid to the Caribbean following Hurricanes Iota (2020) and Dorian (2019) and to Mozambique (2019) following Cyclone Idai are just few of many examples of the military's contribution to global disaster relief efforts.

In support to the FCDO's International aid programme, Official Development Assistance (ODA), Defence has also facilitated the transportation of humanitarian aid to ODA eligible countries, such as vital UK aid to refugees on the Turkey-Syria border in 2020.

British military overseas activity in response to COVID-19 falls under Operation Broadshare. Over the last year Defence has been vital in transporting vaccines and medical equipment to affected British overseas territories and UK overseas military bases. Defence continues to support the COVID response in other nations where appropriate.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading on his Department's application of the Family Test.

The Ministry of Defence's (MOD) central Families' Policy branch monitors the development and implementation of policy to assess the impact on families, will oversee implementation of future strategy and continue to have overarching responsibility for MOD's application of the Family Test. Given the wide range of policies implemented across Defence each year, no single individual could be involved in each relevant submission or policy discussion. However, MOD does have a nominated Family Test lead who forms part of the cross-Government Family Test Network which is the central forum through which MOD has contributed to improvements to the existing guidance for officials in all Departments on Family Test implementation.

The Government is committed to supporting families. To achieve this, in 2014 we introduced the Family Test, which aims to ensure that impacts on family relationships are recognised early on during the process of policy development and help inform the policy decisions made by Ministers.

We recognise the vital role that Armed Forces' families play, and that operational capability relies on recognising the Service person as part of a wider family unit. This is why we launched the first ever UK Armed Forces Families' Strategy in 2016, which focuses and coordinates activity to support Service families. Priorities for this work include childcare, partner employment and accommodation, which have consistently remained areas of interest for both the Service Families' Federations and the Department.

A key component of the Families' Strategy is to ensure that Service families are considered in people policy development, supporting the principles outlined in the Family Test. This is achieved through consideration of the Service family as part of each relevant submission or policy discussion, and through regular engagement with the single Services and the three Families' Federations who represent the needs and views of Service families.

In acknowledgement of the unique circumstances of Service life and the challenges this can present modern families, in December 2018 former Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson CBE MP commissioned Andrew Selous MP to conduct an independent review of the support provided to Service families. The independent review is expected to be published soon and will form the basis of the new Families Strategy for 2020 and beyond; as with the extant 2016 Strategy, the Government's Family Test will continue to be a critical tool for policy makers in applying the principles of the new strategy.

14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to simplify and homogenise across local authorities the process of applying for business rates relief under the Government’s new £1.5bn for businesses affected by covid-19 outside the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

The Department will ensure that local authorities have the guidance they need to deliver the additional £1.5 billion business rates support package once primary legislation is passed, in line with the announcement on 25 March. As with other business rates reliefs, officials will work closely with local government on the development of the relief scheme and guidance for local authorities will be published in due course.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government plans to publish advice to local authorities on delaying billing of business rates until after a sustained period of trading has occurred.

The terms of business rates reliefs for 2021-22 were set out by the Chancellor at the Budget. Business rates billing is a matter for local authorities. They are best placed to make judgements about how best to pursue liabilities. If a ratepayer is experiencing difficulties in paying their bill, they should contact their local authority as soon as possible.

In addition to business rates measures, the Government has provided a package of support grants for businesses. Including the new Restart Grant scheme available from April, the Government will have provided a total of £25 billion to business grants throughout the course of the pandemic.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance will be provided to hospitality businesses on how to access full business rates relief under the allowance where they trade across different local authority areas.

Following the commitment made by the Chancellor at the Budget to extend the expanded retail discount into 2021-22, my Department published guidance on 4 March to help authorities implement their local schemes.

The guidance sets out how the eligibility criteria and cash cap (which applies from 1 July) operates and how authorities should determine the award of relief. Local authorities are responsible for implementing the discount having regard to the guidance. Any ratepayer who considers that they should have been eligible for relief that has been withheld should contact the relevant local authority.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading on his Department's application of the Family Test.

MHCLG follows the guidance set out by the Department for Work and Pensions in relation to application of the Family Test.

In addition, my Department has implemented its own measures to ensure policy officials are aware of their Family Test obligations, with training provided to raise awareness. There is a clear expectation and practice within MHCLG that the Family Test is applied to relevant policies at each stage of the policy making process.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department has a single individual who is responsible for leading on his Department's application of the Family Test.

Each department has a Family Test lead who is part of our Family Test Network. This Network is the central forum through which we have sought input and comments on the support departments need to help with Family Test implementation.

This includes Network members feeding into improvements to the existing guidance for officials in all departments on Family Test implementation.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)