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Written Statements

Thursday 17 September 2015

Business, Innovation and Skills

UK Atomic Energy Authority: Triennial Review

The Minister for Universities and Science (Joseph Johnson): The commencement of the triennial review of the UK Atomic Energy Authority was announced in Parliament on 22 July 2014 through a written ministerial statement. I am now pleased to announce the completion of the review.

The UK Atomic Energy Authority has as its principal mission ‘to position the UK as a leader in a future, sustainable energy economy by advancing fusion science and technology and related technologies to the point of commercialisation’. In addition to its main mission, the Authority manages a campus development portfolio at the Culham and Harwell sites and a number of other responsibilities that arise from historical civil nuclear programmes.

The review concludes that the functions performed by the UK Atomic Energy Authority are still required and that it should be retained as an executive non-departmental public body. However, the review recognises that there are potential benefits for the Authority to merge with another relevant science body. It therefore recommends that the Authority should commence work to assess the viability of such a merger, with a view to implementation from 2018.

The review also examined the governance arrangements for the UK Atomic Energy Authority in line with guidance on good corporate governance set out by the Cabinet Office. The review concluded that the Authority governance largely complies with Cabinet Office’s principles of good corporate governance, but has also identified several opportunities to improve its functions.

The full report of the review of the UK Atomic Energy Authority can be found on the Gov.UK website and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Attachments can be viewed online at: http://www. parliament.uk/writtenstatements.



Banking Act 2009

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Harriett Baldwin): The Treasury has laid before the House of Commons a report required under section 231 of the Banking Act 2009 covering the period from 1 October 2014 to 31 March 2015. Copies of the document are available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.


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Informal ECOFIN

The First Secretary of State and Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr George Osborne): An informal meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council was held in Luxembourg on 11 and 12 September 2015. Ministers discussed the following items:

Implementation of the investment plan for Europe

Ministers discussed the implementation of the investment plan for Europe, following a presentation by the Commission and the president of the European Investment Bank.

Climate finance

Ministers held an exchange of views on climate finance on the basis of a presidency note and presentations from Bruegel and the European Investment Bank.

Minimum effective level of taxation

On the basis of a presidency note, Ministers discussed key issues on tackling tax avoidance, including in relation to a minimum effective level of taxation in the EU and to third countries.

Five presidents report: deepening of economic and monetary union

The presidency introduced their note on deepening of economic and monetary union, which formed the basis of discussion among Ministers on the way forward. Statements were made by representatives of Eurogroup, the European Central Bank, the European Commission, European Parliament and Economic and Financial Committee.

SRF bridge financing

In the final session, Ministers discussed possible ways forward with regard to SRF bridge financing.



Inquest into the Deaths of Corporal James Dunsby, Lance Corporal Craig Roberts and Lance Corporal Edward Maher

The Minister for the Armed Forces (Penny Mordaunt): On 15 July 2015 I made a written statement (HCWS107) regarding the inquest into the deaths of Corporal James Dunsby, Lance Corporal Craig Roberts and Lance Corporal Edward Maher, who died as a result of training activity on the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Following the inquest, HM Senior Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull highlighted a number of failings which contributed to the deaths of the three soldiers and made a number of recommendations to prevent future deaths. I responded to the Coroner on 14 September 2015 and will place a copy of my response in the Library of the House in a month’s time. The delay in releasing this is at the request of the Coroner. We have a service inquiry under way to look at the wider safety aspects of such training and I will keep the House informed. My thoughts remain with the families of Corporal Dunsby, Lance Corporal

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Roberts and Lance Corporal Maher and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure such a tragic event cannot happen again.


Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Extraordinary Agriculture and Fisheries Council

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Elizabeth Truss): My noble Friend Lord Gardiner, DEFRA spokesman in the House of Lords, represented the UK at the extraordinary Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 7 September in Brussels. Michelle O’Neill MLA, Rebecca Evans AM and Richard Lochhead MSP also attended.

The extraordinary Council was called to discuss market developments in the livestock and dairy sector. There were also two any other business items on the agenda.

European Union Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen unveiled a €500 million aid package for farmers in all member states, recognising the deteriorating market situation. The package will focus on:

addressing cash-flow difficulties farmers are facing;

stabilising markets through a new private storage scheme;

addressing the functioning of the supply chain by establishing a high-level group to focus on credit for farmers and futures markets.

Vice-President Katainen also highlighted that the European fund for strategic investments was available to support investment in the farming sector. The Commission’s programme will also help to stabilise prices of products through the distribution of dairy products to vulnerable groups. Renewed efforts will be made to reach an early conclusion to the ongoing negotiations for revised school schemes for fruit and milk.

Lord Gardiner thanked the Commission for its approach to this crisis over the last couple of weeks, but urged rapid action and implementation of the package. For example, he asked the Commission to relax a number of specific common agricultural policy controls for 2015 so that the majority of farmers can be paid promptly. This will help with serious cash-flow problems which are concerning farmers at the moment.

Lord Gardiner also urged that we fast-track the use of European Investment Bank financial instruments within our rural development programmes.

Looking forward, Lord Gardiner asked for greater transparency and fairness in the supply chain. The UK groceries code adjudicator offers a robust approach, which could be a basis for wider EU action. He also called for further action from the Commission on country of origin labelling. Better labelling and branding, with regional flexibility, would provide shoppers with greater certainty on where their products come from.

During the table-round, member states broadly welcomed the package announced by Vice-President Katainen and like the UK called for rapid action and asked for more details to be able to help farmers as quickly as possible. Despite the Commission’s rejection to increase the intervention prices several member states including

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France, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Ireland and Portugal still called for them to be raised. The UK along with the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden argued against an increase.

The main AOB on the agenda consisted of the Baltic states and Poland requesting more clarity on the rules governing regionalisation following an outbreak of African swine fever. Commissioner Andriukaitis agreed to review the rules but stressed that the European Union’s disease regionalisation policy could not be jeopardised. Helpfully, the Commissioner reiterated that member states should not start bilateral discussions with Russia on re-opening trade. He argued that Russia “played games” to,

“seriously harm our common EU interests”.

The other AOB on drought in Poland and Romania was included as part of the wider market discussion.

Since the extraordinary Council took place, the Commission has announced that the UK will receive €36.07 million in targeted aid.



Life Sciences: Investment

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Jane Ellison): My right hon. Friend, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, has today announced the Government’s plans to invest £350 million in a world-class laboratory facility in Harlow, Essex by Public Health England (PHE).

This important investment will help to secure the United Kingdom’s place as world leader in life sciences, as well as ensuring state-of-the-art facilities to keep our country safe from infectious diseases. The Public Health England facility will be established in the London-Cambridge life sciences corridor, allowing researchers from our world-leading universities to be better connected to these vital facilities.

This investment will enable the relocation of a number of PHE’s functions currently at Porton Down to the new facility. The facilities at Porton are more than 60 years old and this investment will replace them with much needed modern facilities. However, PHE remains committed to the Porton site, and the publicly owned pharmaceutical company Porton Biopharma, as well as a regional PHE laboratory, will remain at Porton.

The Government will consider future plans for PHE’s other facilities as part of the spending review.


Home Department

Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation: Annual Report

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): David Anderson QC, Independent Reviewer Of Terrorism Legislation, has completed his

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fifth annual report, on the operation of the Terrorism Act 2000 and Part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 in 2014. This report will be laid before the House today.

I am grateful to David Anderson, once again, for his considered report, which continues to provide important independent scrutiny that UK counter-terrorism legislation is fair, effective and proportionate. I will, following consultation with other relevant departments and agencies, publish the Government’s response as a Command Paper in due course. At that time the response will be made available in the Vote Office.

I can also inform the House that Mr Anderson has agreed to undertake a review of the operation of a deprivation of citizenship power, as required by section 66 of the Immigration Act 2014. He will produce a report covering the initial year that this power has been in force, which ended on 28 July 2015. This report will then be laid before the House.


Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): Section 19(1) of the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (the Act) requires the Secretary of State to report to Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of every relevant three-month period on the exercise of her TPIM powers under the Act during that period.

The level of information provided will always be subject to slight variations based on operational advice.

TPIM notices in force (as of 31 August 2015)


TPIM notices in respect of British citizens (as of 31 August 2015)


TPIM notices extended (during the reporting period)


TPIM notices revoked (during the reporting period)


TPIM notices revived (during the reporting period)


Variations made to measures specified in TPIM notices (during the reporting period)


Applications to vary measures specified in TPIM notices refused (during the reporting period)


The number of subjects relocated under TPIM legislation


The TPIM review group (TRG) keeps every TPIM notice under regular and formal review. The TRG met on 2 June and 14 September 2015. The next TRG meeting will take place in December 2015.

The case of DD v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 3820 (Admin) was heard again at the High Court between 21 and 24 April 2015. In a judgment handed down on 19 June 2015 Mr Justice Collins upheld the Secretary of State’s decision to revive the TPIM notice against DD on 23 August 2013, 6 May 2014 and 3 July 2014. Mr Justice Collins also upheld the Secretary of State’s decision to extend the TPIM notice against DD for a second and final year. In the same judgment Mr Justice Collins quashed the monitoring measure contained in DD’s TPIM notice as he concluded that in DD’s specific circumstances it breached DD’s rights under article 3 of the European convention on human rights. Mr Justice Collins also directed a variation to the electronic communications device measure contained

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in DD’s TPIM notice. This judgment can be found at: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2015/1681.html


Prime Minister

Machinery of Government Changes

The Prime Minister (Mr David Cameron): This written ministerial statement confirms that policy responsibility for data protection policy, sponsorship of the Information Commissioner’s Office, and sponsorship of The National Archives will transfer from the Ministry of Justice to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and that responsibility for Government records management policy will transfer from the Ministry of Justice to the Cabinet Office. These changes will be effective from 17 September. The Lord Chancellor’s responsibilities under the Public Records Act 1958 and associated legislation will therefore be transferred as necessary to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.



Rail Franchising: East Anglia

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Claire Perry): Today I have published the invitation to tender (ITT) documents setting out the specification for the next East Anglia rail franchise. This asks bidders to set out detailed proposals on what improvements for passengers they will deliver and how they will build on the East Anglia line should they win the franchise.

Alongside the ITT I have published a stakeholder briefing document which describes what the specification will mean for passengers and how the responses to the public consultation held between December 2014 and March 2015 have been taken into account when my officials developed the ITT.

We know that customers are not satisfied with the current arrangements on this route. The rolling stock is too old and unreliable and there is demand for more, faster services. That is why this ITT has the condition and quality of trains at its very heart. I believe that the minimum standards we have set out today will provide bidders with the opportunity to address these fundamental issues. We expect to see new trains servicing this route but have not specified this because we want to incentivise the bidders to price their options competitively while ensuring that the taxpayer gets maximum value for their investment. We have reformed franchising to place quality of service and passenger experience at the centre of the process. These changes have already led to a step change in performance elsewhere in the country and I expect East Anglia to fully benefit as well.

The region served by the East Anglia franchise is vital to the long-term economic growth of the country. It was clear from the more than 1,300 responses my

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officials received to the consultation exercise that we need to make sure that the railway does more to support it in the next franchise. The specification I have published today sets out how we will do just that.

A key part of the ITT is that bidders will be required to plan for how they will introduce at least four services (two in each direction) between Norwich and London that have a journey time of 90 minutes or less each weekday; and at least two services between Ipswich and London (one in each direction) that have a journey time of less than 60 minutes. These headline journey times were a key recommendation of the Great Eastern main line taskforce and were highlighted in responses to the consultation. I am therefore delighted that the next franchise will see these services become a reality.

There are a number of other requirements that will mean passengers will see a step change in the franchise. Approximately 180 additional services are specified each week across the franchise, significantly enhancing journey opportunities for passengers. The franchise’s rolling stock too will be significantly improved as a result of this ITT and while we have not been specific about what class of train bidders must use, we have been clear that they should be of a high quality and fit for the railway of the 21st century. That means that all of the trains should include provision for wi-fi and controlled emission

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toilets, so that waste is not dropped onto the tracks. The specification also acknowledges the calls to reduce crowding on the franchise by establishing challenging targets for bidders to meet in their plans.

Throughout the ITT my officials have taken an output based approach to specification. This means that the private sector bidders for the franchise have the space to innovate and use their experience to develop the best possible solutions for passengers on the franchise.

The three bidders for the franchise—Abellio East Anglia Ltd (a joint venture between Abellio and Stagecoach); First East Anglia Ltd; and National Express East Anglia Trains Ltd—will now have until 17 December 2015 to provide their bids to the Department. These will then be evaluated and I expect to announce my intention to award the contract to the preferred bidder in June 2016, with the new nine-year East Anglia franchise expected to start in October that year.

For too long, East Anglia has not had the high-quality rail services that it deserves. The specification that I have published today will reverse this situation. I now look forward to the bidders stepping up to this challenge and providing plans that will provide a transformation on the East Anglia franchise for passengers and taxpayers.