22 Jan 2015 : Column WA327

Written Answers

Thursday 22 January 2015

Aircraft Carriers

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there are any occasions on which an operational Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier will leave home waters without a fixed-wing air group embarked; and what will be the minimum viable size of that air group. [HL4163]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The composition and size of the embarked air group in a deploying Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier will be tailored to meet the required task.

Asylum: Detainees

Question

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many asylum-seekers are currently in detention, and in which centres; of these, how many are women or part of families; and how many have been detained for (1) more than six months, and (2) more than one year.[HL4192]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The table below is a subset of the latest published information for people detained in the detention estate who have claimed asylum at some point as at 30 September 2014.

People in detention as at 30 September 2014, who had claimed asylum (1), by place of detention, by sex and by length of detention of over 6 months
TotalMaleFemale6 months to less than 12 months12 months or more

Total

1,688

1,527

161

152

53

Brook House IRC

149

149

0

17

5

Campsfield House IRC

110

110

0

10

1

Colnbrook IRC

194

194

0

31

14

Colnbrook STHF

2

0

2

0

0

Dover IRC

139

139

0

17

8

Dungavel IRC

78

71

7

6

1

Harmondsworth IRC

495

495

0

32

9

Haslar IRC

51

51

0

5

5

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Larne House STHF

2

2

0

0

0

Morton Hall IRC

160

160

0

21

8

Pennine House STHF

10

10

0

0

0

The Verne IRC

84

84

0

1

1

Tinsley House IRC

42

42

0

2

1

Yarl's Wood IRC

172

20

152

10

0

(1)

Asylum detainees: People detained solely under Immigration Act powers who are recorded as having sought asylum at some stage and may under record due to instances of detainees claiming asylum after the data extract date.

There were no families with children under the age of 18 detained as at 30 September 2014.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the number of people detained in the United Kingdom for immigration purposes, within the Immigration Statistics release. The data relating to people in detention are available in tables dt_11_q and dt_12_q in Immigration Statistics: July – September 2014 on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office/series/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release.

Published figures on people detained in the United Kingdom solely under Immigration Act powers include those held in short term holding facilities, pre departure accommodation and immigration removal centres. Figures exclude those held in police cells, Prison Service establishments, short term holding rooms at ports and airports (for less than 24 hours), and those recorded as detained under both criminal and immigration powers and their dependants.

Asylum: Females

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will publish their response to General Recommendation No. 32 from the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, published on 14 November 2014, in particular those recommendations concerning female interviewers and interpreters for women asylum-applicants, and those relating to legal representation.[HL4121]

Baroness Garden of Frognal (LD): Unlike the concluding observations which the CEDAW Committee issues to the UK specifically after each of our periodic examinations, General Recommendations are issued

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by the Committee to all 188 States which are party to the Convention. That means that not all the General Recommendations will actually be relevant to the UK's circumstances and policies, and it is not the normal practice of the Government to respond specifically to the publication of General Recommendations.

If a General Recommendation is relevant to the UK, then the Committee will assess us against it during our periodic examination. We will receive their evaluation and we will have the opportunity to respond fully at that stage. The Government has, however, noted the publication of General Recommendation No. 32 on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and statelessness of women by the Committee, and the content has been conveyed to the Home Office.

The Home Office will of course be able to answer any specific questions the noble Lord has on female interviewers and interpreters for women asylum applicants.

Credit Unions

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to changing the Common Bond of geographical credit unions from potential to actual members.[HL4031]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): On 31 December 2014 the government published a response to the Call for Evidence on Credit Unions. In this response the government committed to considering potential changes to credit union legislation, including to the Common Bond, in the next parliament.

Driving: Licensing

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Kramer on 15 January (HL3977) about the Union flag being printed on driving licences issued to drivers in England, Scotland and Wales, whether licences issued to drivers in Northern Ireland will have that flag printed on them; and if not, why not.[HL4226]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The Union flag will not be printed on driving licences issued to motorists in Northern Ireland.

Driver licensing is a devolved matter and is the responsibility of the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland. The UK Government is unable to take a decision to include the Union flag on licences issued to motorists in Northern Ireland.

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Electoral Register

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they are supporting National Voter Registration Day. [HL4029]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): I refer the noble peer to the answer I gave to Lord Roberts of Llandudno on 12 January, Official Report, Column WA231.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government on what date they expect to be able to invite (1) local authorities, and (2) national organisations, to apply for (a) funding to boost voter registration, and (b) funding for wider voter registration activities.[HL4179]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: I refer the noble peer to the answer I gave on 20 January, Official Report, Column WA299.

The Government will outline further detail about the use of the funding in due course.

Entry Clearances: Israel

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 6 January (HL3868), whether evidence that an individual persistently undertook, permitted or financed illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories triggers consideration as to whether that individual's conduct is not conducive to the public good. [HL4169]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): All foreign nationals seeking entry to the UK must satisfy either an entry clearance officer overseas, or an immigration officer at the port of arrival, that they fully meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules in the category of entry sought and that, by their own actions, they have not brought themselves within scope of the general grounds for refusal set out in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules.

The Government takes a range of measures to prevent foreign nationals from coming to, or remaining in, the UK where their presence is not conducive to the public good. An individual may be refused entry to the UK under the Immigration Rules and the Home Secretary also has the power to exclude foreign nationals from the UK. The power to exclude is broad but may include circumstances involving national security, unacceptable behaviour, extremism, international relations or foreign policy, and serious organised crime. These decisions are made according to the individual circumstances of each case taking into a consideration a range of factors.

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Exclusion Orders

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 6 January (HL3867), whether they will publish the list of non-exhaustive indicators of unacceptable behaviours that could lead to the exclusion of a foreign national from the United Kingdom.[HL4168]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The list of unacceptable behaviours is indicative rather than exhaustive. It covers any non-UK national whether in the UK or abroad who uses any means or medium including:

• writing, producing, publishing or distributing material;• public speaking including preaching• running a website; or• using a position of responsibility such as teacher, community or youth leaderTo express views which:• foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs;• seek to provoke others to terrorist acts;• foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts or;• foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK

The list was finalised in August 2005 following a consultation.

House of Lords: Restaurants

Question

Asked by Lord Palmer

To ask the Chairman of Committees why new chairs have been placed in the River Restaurant; how much they cost; whether estimates were obtained for the cost of chairs with and without the Portcullis; what happened to the old chairs; and what was the salvage value of the old chairs.[HL4092]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Sewel): The chairs recently placed in the River Restaurant were previously in storage and so there was no cost in this financial year. The new chairs provide greater back support than the benches formerly used. Those benches have been placed into storage; no estimate has been made of their salvage value.

In Vitro Fertilisation

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 6 February 2014 (WA 76) and the Written Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public

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Health, Jane Ellison, on 17 December 2014 (HC Deb, cols 96–7WS), whether an enucleated embryo being unable to survive without nuclear DNA necessarily implies that both steps of the different processes described in Regulations 4 and 7 must be completed in their entirety in order to generate the permitted egg or embryo referred to in Regulations 3(a) and 6(a) respectively of the Draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015; and if not, whether they will describe how individual eggs or embryos that have been enucleated might be used directly in infertility treatment as egg P or embryo P.[HL4042]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Enucleated eggs and embryos are, in themselves, non-viable and, therefore, cannot be used for the treatment of infertility. The different processes used to generate a permitted egg or embryo, referred to in Regulations 4 and 7, will be completed in their entirety.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health, Jane Ellison, on 17 December 2014 (HC Deb, col. 96WS), what concerns were raised by the expert panel convened by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) regarding the possibility of carryover of a small percentage of abnormal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the affected oocyte or zygote as a result of close associations between mtDNA and the karyoplast; what additional consideration the HFEA’s expert panel gave to replicative advantage of some mtDNA variants skewing the proportions in subsequent development as a result of a mitochondrial bottleneck; whether they can therefore guarantee that no females born following spindle-chromosomal complex transfer or pronuclear transfer would ever transmit the disease to subsequent generations; if not, whether serial nuclear transfer would minimise this risk; and why serial nuclear transfer is precluded by Regulations 3(c) and 6(c) of the Draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015, which prevent any further “alterations in the nuclear or mitochondrial DNA”.[HL4043]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): We are advised by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that the issues raised by the noble Lord are discussed at various points in the Expert Panel’s 2014 report, as follows:

- mitochondrial DNA carryover at sections 3.7.2 to 3.7.11;- nuclear-mitochondrial interactions at sections 3.7.15 to 3.7.20; and- points relating to replicative advantage and mitochondrial bottleneck are widely discussed throughout section 3.

The Panel’s report is attached.

22 Jan 2015 : Column WA333

The HFEA has also advised that the Expert Panel it convened concluded that, following Maternal Spindle Transfer or Pronuclear Transfer, the risks of mitochondrial disease in the next generation will be low. Further details can be found in section 3 of the Panel’s 2014 report.

Serial nuclear transfer is not a term or process connected with mitochondrial donation. Therefore, serial transfer is not something the Expert Panel has considered.

This Answer included the following attachment:

HFEA's Panel Report (HFEA Panel's Report.pdf)

India

Question

Asked by Lord Ahmed

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made any representations to the government of India regarding the Governor's Rule currently in place in Jammu and Kashmir.[HL4130]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): We have not made any representations to the Government of India on this matter.

Inquiries

Questions

Asked by Lord Eames

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they propose to issue suggested timescales to all future independent committees of inquiry.[HL4056]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they propose to request that future independent committees of inquiry should issue interim reports in cases where final reports are delayed beyond a reasonable time.[HL4057]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): I refer the noble Lord to the Inquiries Act 2005 Explanatory Notes which state ‘In some cases it might be appropriate to specify a date by which the inquiry is asked to report, or the level of urgency.’ A decision on whether to publish an interim Report will normally be a matter for the independent Chair or would have been established at the outset.

Iran

Question

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

To ask Her Majesty’s Government to what extent humanitarian trade between Iran and the United Kingdom is exempt from sanctions; to what extent the Joint Plan of Action has facilitated this trade, if at all; and what humanitarian and cultural trade is taking place.[HL4193]

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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): EU sanctions against Iran do not prevent Iran from purchasing humanitarian goods such as food and medicines. The UK issues as a priority licenses for transactions for these goods. Furthermore, the Joint Plan of Action includes provisions to make humanitarian trade with Iran easier. Medicinal and pharmaceutical exports from the UK to Iran in 2014 were £16,551,536.

Israel

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 22 December (HL3625), what precise fishing limits are imposed by the government of Israel off the Gaza coast; and what is the current extent of the Gaza Buffer Zone.[HL4069]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): The current Gaza fishing zone limit is six nautical miles, however we have received reports that fishermen have been shot at within this limit.

The Israeli Prime Minister established a 3km Gaza Buffer zone in August 2014. However, the extent of the buffer zone varies. There is a no-go zone of 100m next to the fence.

In November 2014 Egypt expanded their buffer zone with Gaza to 1km.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the implications for them if, as a signatory to the Fourth Geneva Convention, they except Israel from the terms of the Convention.[HL4072]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: It has long been the Government’s view that Israel’s presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is governed by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, to which Israel is a state party. We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including settlements and the treatment of Palestinian children in military custody.

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft

Questions

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the decision has been made as to the location of the Operational Conversion Unit for the F35B aircraft. [HL4164]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The Lightning II (F-35B) Operational Conversion Unit will be located at RAF Marham.

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Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to stop using VMFAT-501 squadron for pilot training on the F35B aircraft, and, if so, on what date; and where will training for that aircraft be conducted.[HL4165]

Lord Astor of Hever: Under current planning assumptions, the UK will stop assigning UK pilots to VMFAT-501 for pilot training on the F-35B from July 2019, when the UK Operational Conversion Unit will begin pilot training at RAF Marham.

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 29 July 2014 (HL1320), how many F35B aircraft will initially be allocated to the Operational Conversion Unit.[HL4166]

Lord Astor of Hever: Based on current planning assumptions, five aircraft will be allocated to the Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Marham when it begins pilot training in July 2019.

Mesothelioma: Compensation

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the position of mesothelioma claimants whose claims have been lodged with the T&N Asbestos Trusts; whether T&N claimants are receiving their legal entitlement; why T&N claimants are excluded from the benefits of the Mesothelioma Act 2014; and why those claimants are treated differently from any other claimant affected by mesothelioma.[HL4227]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): A person with diffuse mesothelioma, or their dependents, may be eligible to apply for the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS) if no one has received damages or a specified payment in respect of the disease or is eligible to receive a specified payment from another source.

Eligibility for, or receipt of, such payments disqualifies an applicant from receiving a DMPS payment. This prevents a person receiving more than one payment for the same condition and ensures that all claimants are treated fairly and with equity.

These specified payments include payments under the Turner and Newall Trusts.

Military Decorations

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to issue an operational medal for service in Operation Kipion.[HL4146]

22 Jan 2015 : Column WA336

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): There are no plans to issue an operational medal for Operation Kipion. All operational activity undertaken by UK personnel is subject to regular review by Commander Joint Operations in the Permanent Joint Headquarters. Amongst other things, this routine review considers whether deployments might warrant medallic recognition.

Operation Kipion has been kept under review, but it has been consistently assessed that, whilst conditions are challenging, personnel are not exposed to levels of risk and rigour that are in excess of what Service personnel might reasonably be expected to face on operational service.

Milk

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the comments by Lord De Mauley on 13 January relating to United Kingdom milk production, whether they will examine the French system for the marketing of milk with a view to improving the economic prospects for dairy farmers in England.[HL4173]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley) (Con): The French system for the marketing of milk helps dairy producers maximise their revenue through the use of Geographical Indicators (GIs). We are already supporting the marketing of high value cheese and other dairy products by encouraging British food specialities to apply for protected status.

We are also pushing for better Country of Origin labelling to help promote British dairy products. We have raised this with the new EU Agriculture Commissioner and the Commission is due to publish a report on the feasibility of mandatory labelling next month.

Ministers: Pay

Question

Asked by Lord Jopling

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage cut in the salaries of Government Ministers would be required in order to create savings sufficient to pay salaries at the appropriate level to all Ministers who are currently unpaid.[HL4091]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975 limits the total number of ministerial salaries to 109, and there are 109 such salaries being paid. Accordingly, it would not be possible to pay salaries to those Ministers who are currently unpaid even if salaries were reduced. Indeed, Ministerial salaries have reduced by 5% this Parliament, saving approximately £4 million and demonstrating leadership in a time of pay restraint.

Information concerning levels of entitled ministerial salary can be found in the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975 (amendment) Order 2011:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2011/9780111509258/body

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Overseas Students

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the fact that the average United Kingdom graduate starting salary ranges from £18,000 to £24,000, what assessment they have made of the impact of policy that allows international students to stay in the United Kingdom upon the condition that they find a graduate-level job paying £24,000 a year. [HL4141]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The Government recognises that there should be opportunities for the brightest and best international students to undertake skilled work in the UK after their studies. International students who graduate in the UK may switch into skilled work providing they have an offer of graduate-level job from a sponsoring employer, paying at least £20,500 per year or the appropriate salary for the particular occupation, whichever is higher.

The Government closed the previous Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) route in April 2012. This route granted free access to the UK labour market for two years after graduation in the UK. Too many individuals in the route were unemployed or competing with resident workers for low-skilled jobs, and too many were using the student route merely as a means to work in the UK, without any real intention of study. We also saw a large number of fraudulent applications. This undermined our work routes and damaged the reputation of our education system.

Palestinians

Question

Asked by Lord Turnberg

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Northover on 6 January (HL3815), what co-operation they have had from Hamas in the reconstruction of civilian property in Gaza.[HL4022]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Northover) (LD): UK policy on Hamas is clear: we do not talk to Hamas and we have no plan to do so at present. At the Gaza Reconstruction Conference, the UK pledged £20 million for early recovery assistance. DFID has already disbursed £5 million and will provide the remainder in 2015/16. The UK was also the first donor to support the temporary tri-partite Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) which is facilitating the import of construction materials into Gaza.

Pupils: Travellers

Question

Asked by Baroness Whitaker

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the report by the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups, Civil Society Monitoring on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy in the United Kingdom in 2012 and 2013, and the report Overcoming barriers by Ofsted,

22 Jan 2015 : Column WA338

what plans they have to encourage local authorities to appoint leaders to drive forward strategies to improve outcomes for Roma school students. [HL4157]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): Local authorities have an important role to play in promoting better outcomes for Roma pupils. They are best placed to determine how to organise their local arrangements to support these pupils and should consider issues highlighted in the reports referred to by the noble Lady.

To support local authorities, the Department for Education funded two local authorities to trial a ‘virtual headteacher’ for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils, with responsibility for supporting schools to promote better outcomes for this group. The effective practice identified has been circulated to every local authority.

The Department will work with its Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Education Stakeholder Group, chaired by the noble Lady, to discuss ways for all the parties to encourage local action to improve provision and pupils’ outcomes.

Railways

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the responsiveness of the Train Operating Companies to the needs of passengers. [HL4205]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The National Rail Passenger Survey consults more than 50,000 passengers a year to produce the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) - a network-wide picture of passengers' satisfaction with rail travel. This survey measures Passengers' overall satisfaction and satisfaction with 30 specific aspects of service can, therefore, be compared over time.

The new approach to rail franchising - as launched by the Secretary of State in March 2013 - is designed to see the interests of passengers strengthened. Since the new programme was launched, passenger satisfaction requirements (based upon the NRPS) have been included in franchises. And when evaluating bids for franchises, credit is given for non-financial factors, which includes initiatives to improve the quality of service to passengers.

Railways: Finance

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the impact on the taxpayer of the payment of the lower variable track access charge for the 17 per cent of long-distance train paths into and out of King’s Cross allocated to open access operators; and how much additional income would be generated for Network Rail if those operators paid the same level of access charge as franchised operators.[HL4151]

22 Jan 2015 : Column WA339

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The purpose of the charging regime for Control Period 5 (2014- 2019) is to be as cost reflective as possible, recognising that access charges must be set at a level which the market segment in question can bear. The Office of Rail Regulation as the independent regulator set out their proposals for access charges in their Final Determination following extensive consultation with industry stakeholders. It is not for the Department to determine how Open Access Operators should be charged for access to the network.

Turkey

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what recent assessment they have made of the situation of human rights in Turkey.[HL4207]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): We and our EU partners monitor closely the human rights

22 Jan 2015 : Column WA340

situation in Turkey. The UK supports the EU Commission’s assessment of human rights in Turkey, given in its 2014 Annual Progress Report on Turkey’s EU accession. In 2014, Turkey made progress on its human rights reform agenda and adopted an Action Plan for the Prevention of Human Rights Violations. Turkey also continued to build the capacity of its human rights institutions. We welcome this progress and the continuing efforts of the Turkish government aimed at resolving the Kurdish issue.

However, as the EU’s report has underlined, there is still much to do to implement action plans, strengthen further the human rights institutional framework, and bring Turkish human rights legislation in line with European and international standards, including on rights for minority religious and ethnic groups.

The report also highlighted areas of concern over the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, the rule of law, and restrictions on the freedom of expression, including temporary bans on social media imposed by the Turkish government. We will continue to work with our EU partners and international institutions, such as the EU and Council of Europe, to support Turkey in its continuing reform agenda.