Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2015-16 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Lord Ahmed
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of measures to improve relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Q
Asked by Lord Ahmed
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Iranian citizens have applied for (1) visitor, (2) student, and (3) settlement, visas since the opening of the British Embassy in Tehran; and how many of those applications in each category were successful.
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of North Korea on reports of widespread rape committed by its military; and whether the UK defence attaché to North Korea will raise this issue with their counterpart.
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that North Korean workers are producing garments for Burberry Group Inc.
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of stateless children living in China with one North Korean parent.
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department for International Development
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has access to North Korean refugees in China; and what steps they have taken to address the specific matter of China's responsibilities to aid North Korean refugees fleeing North Korea.
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the British Embassy in North Korea has presented a copy of the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to North Korean officials; and whether the UK Ambassador to North Korea has held discussions on that report with his North Korean counterparts.
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what procedures they have in place to identify the occurrence of genocide for the purposes of fulfilling their obligations as a contracting party under Article VIII of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide 1948; and whether there is a protocol in place to guide those procedures.
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department of Health
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 28 October 2013 (WA 213) and 5 December 2013 (WA 60–1), whether they will now answer the question why Public Health England, in comparing the percentages with dental fluorosis in fluoridated populations published by McGrady et al in 2012 with those from the York systematic review, cited small categories of fluorosis which were not found in the York review, but omitted the statistically comparable total-fluorosis figures of 55 per cent in fluoridated Newcastle against 48 per cent worldwide in the York review in 2000.
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department of Health
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the reasons why systematic scientific reviews, such as Cochrane reviews, adopt "specific and relatively narrow criteria".
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department of Health
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to commission or financially to support further studies that might meet the "specific and relatively narrow criteria" of the 2015 Cochrane review Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries, in the light of the point made in that review’s abstract that "the applicability of the results to current lifestyles is unclear because the majority of the studies were conducted before fluoride toothpastes and the other preventative measures were widely used".
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department of Health
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 17 November 2015 (HL3315), why the Executive Summary of the report by Public Health England Water fluoridation: Health monitoring report for England 2014 concludes that "The report provides further reassurance that water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure", when the limitations section of the report states that "there was potential for considerable misclassification of exposure status" and the conclusion section states that "the population-based, observational design does not allow conclusions to be drawn regarding any causative or protective role of fluoride".
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department of Health
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the statement in the Executive Summary of the Water fluoridation: Health monitoring report for England 2014 that there is "no evidence of a difference in the rate of hip fractures between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas", what account Public Health England took of the article "Adding fluoride to water supplies" by Cheng KK et al in the British Medical Journal of 7 October 2007, in which the authors state that if the population of England had an average lifetime exposure of ≥0.9 ppm fluoride in drinking water a modest association between fluoride and hip fracture, if such exists, would have a less than one in five chance of being detected despite potentially causing more than 10,000 excess fractures a year.
Q
Asked by Lord Berkeley
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department for Transport
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many train paths an hour will be freed up on the West Coast Main Line when HS2 Phase 1 is operational according to Network Rail's West Coast Main Line Capacity Plus study, and when that study will be published.
Q
Asked by Lord Berkeley
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether the additional cost of £70 to £80 per annum, at 2011 prices and based on a 50 per cent probability of cost overruns, to all Thames Water customers of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, as quoted on page 83 of the prospectus of Thames Water Utilities Cayman Finance Ltd, represents good value for money for the consumer.
Q
Asked by Lord Berkeley
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department for Transport
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the total cost of fees, facilitation costs and enabling works for HS2 in each year since 2010.
Q
Asked by Lord Bradshaw
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department for Transport
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the financial impact that the decision by the Office of Road and Rail to allow competition on the East Coast Main Line will have on the existing Virgin Trains East Coast franchise.
Q
Asked by Lord Bradshaw
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department for Transport
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact that the decision by the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) to allow competition on the East Coast Main Line will have on the reliability and timekeeping of the existing East Coast Main Line franchise and other operators using the railway; and what assessment they have made of the impact the proposed improvements to the infrastructure being made by Network Rail in Control Periods 5 and 6 and the ORR decision on competition will have on the existing standard of performance.
Q
Asked by Lord Bradshaw
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department for Transport
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether the new open access operators using the East Coast Main Line will pay access charges that provide for fair competition with other operators, including VTEC; who determines those charges; and whether those charges reflect the opportunity costs that arise from using trains offering less seating capacity than the principal franchisee’s trains.
Q
Asked by Lord Bradshaw
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department for Transport
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how long it has been since the Operational Research Computerised Allocation of Tickets to Services arrangements under which revenue is shared between operators were last updated; who is responsible for updating those arrangements; and whether that process is open to public scrutiny.
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