Tele column – 22nd June 2018

The U.K. Government announced this week that it will consider allowing prescriptions for medical cannabis on a one by one basis Assessing cases one by one is slow, cumbersome and therefore cruel. Tens of thousands of people could benefit now. Making them wait while other people with the same condition are provided with medicine is not a solution. Billy Caldwell’s family had to break the law, by bringing medical cannabis into the U.K. from Canada, before the Home Office caved in and allowed him access to his own drugs. MPs had to threaten to travel abroad to get the medicine Alfie Dingley requires before he was offered his by the Home Office. Other less high profile individuals are satisfying their medical needs by making their own provisions because they can’t access legal medical cannabis in the UK. Medical cannabis is available in 30 of the states in the USA and 13 European countries. Somebody living in the Netherlands suffering from epilepsy can bring their medical cannabis into the U.K. and use it to self-medicate. But a resident of the U.K. can’t travel to the Netherlands and bring back the same drugs even if they suffer from exactly the same condition. The Home Secretary announced on Tuesday that the licencing of medicinal cannabis is to be reviewed. Therefore we know that there are moves afoot to address the licensing and prescription of medical cannabis but these advances must be geared towards encompassing medical cannabis into the existing drug portfolio available to general practitioners. The end goal for the Home Office must be to allow the provision of medical cannabis under prescription. And before we can do that we have to address the supply chain for the raw materials and the laboratory facilities to produce the end product. There is a lot of work to do and we need to get started now. The time for grandstanding and prevarication has come and gone.



Written question – Home Office [21/06/18]

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department plans to take in relation to non-UK EU citizens who do not apply for settled status by the UK Government’s deadline. (153367)

Tabled on: 13 June 2018

Caroline Nokes:

EU citizens, and their family members, who are resident in the UK before the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020 will have until 30 June 2021 to make their application to the EU settlement scheme. We will take a proportionate approach to those who miss this deadline where they have a good reason for doing so. Those who do will be given a reasonable further period in which to apply.

The answer was submitted on 21 Jun 2018 at 15:49.


Written question – Trade [19/06/2018]

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government plans to remove tariffs on solar technology components. (152803)

Tabled on: 12 June 2018

Answer: Greg Hands:

Work is ongoing to develop the UK’s future independent tariff policy via the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill, as we leave the EU. No decision has yet been taken on what the future UK applied tariff rates will be post-EU Exit, and this department is continuing to look at all options.

Furthermore, the UK continues to support efforts at the WTO to reach agreement on the Environmental Goods Agreement which would promote the trade in green products, including that of solar panels and their associated technology.

The Department for International Trade published a call for evidence on the 28 November 2017 with the aim of identifying which UK businesses produce goods currently subject to anti-dumping, or anti-subsidy measures, or to on-going investigations related to these.

It asks those businesses to state whether they support, are neutral to, or oppose the maintaining of those measures, when the UK begins to operate its independent trade remedy framework. It asks for data about those businesses’ production and sales, and total UK production and sales.

We invite other interested parties to provide relevant information for measures of interest to them. This will enable us to make an accurate assessment of applications to maintain measures.

The answer was submitted on 19 Jun 2018 at 17:58.

FOBT Losses

The amount of money lost on FOBTs since 2016 is staggering and further highlights why the maximum unit stake on these machines must be lowered to £2 as soon as possible.

The intervention of HM Treasury in delaying the stake reduction is deeply disappointing and frustrating.  It’s time they ditched their blocking tactics and allow the policy decision to be implemented.  

I was delighted to be re-elected as vice-chair of the All-party parliamentary group (APPG) and I will continue to campaign for further action to address gambling related harm.  I hope to secure a debate on the subject in the near future.


Written question – Business [19/06/2018]

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what financial support the Government is providing to small and medium-sized businesses in the renewables sector. (152224)

Tabled on: 11 June 2018

Claire Perry:

The UK is a world leader in clean growth and much of the UK’s renewable electricity sector is comprised of small and medium sized businesses. Small and medium-sized businesses in the renewables sector benefit from a range of support delivered as a result of Government policies, for example through the contracts for difference, the feed in tariff and the renewable heat incentive policies. In addition, the Government is investing £2.5 billion to support low carbon innovation in the UK between 2015 and 2021 and are making clean growth a priority of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The answer was submitted on 19 Jun 2018 at 14:17.