Written question – Home Office [15/09/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials of her Department have had with EU counterparts on the expansion of visa-free travel between the UK and the EU after the end of the transition period. (87581)

Tabled on: 09 September 2020

Kevin Foster:

For those taking short trips to the UK, it is UK’s intention EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will not be required to obtain a visa and will be able to visit under, our standard visitor rules for non-visa nationals, for up to 180 days. Those coming to live and work in the UK will be subject to the arrangements in the new Points Based Immigration System.

The EU has already legislated UK nationals will not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This will apply from the end of the transition period to all UK nationals travelling to and within the Schengen area for purposes such as tourism.

Stays beyond the standard Schengen visa-free allocation from 1 January 2021 onwards will be for individual Member States to decide and implement through domestic entry rules and visa arrangements for non-EU citizens.

The UK continues to urge the EU to reflect on the more generous position the UK’s standard visitor rules for non-visa nationals offers compared to the position they have legislated for UK nationals in the EU.

The answer was submitted on 15 Sep 2020 at 17:19.

Written question – Medical cannabis [14/09/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2020 to Question 57346 on Cannabis: Medical Treatments, what progress the Government has made on implementing a patient registry to monitor outcomes among medical cannabis patients. (82094)

Tabled on: 28 August 2020

Jo Churchill:

The patient registry for cannabis-based products for medicinal use is currently being developed by NHS England and NHS Improvement with input from specialist clinicians and other advisory bodies. The purpose of this registry is to collect a uniform data set for patients prescribed these products, including patient outcomes. NHS England and NHS Improvement intends to pilot the registry this autumn, to enable operational use as soon as practicable.

The answer was submitted on 14 Sep 2020 at 19:28.

Greenock Telegraph 11th September 2020

Let me be the very first person to wish you a merry Christmas. It is early, I know that, it is about three months too early, but I have my reasons. Every year I promise to do as much of my Christmas shopping as I can locally and every year I fail. Working away from home is an excuse, not a reason. I once did all my Christmas shopping on Christmas eve in Gatwick airport.  Not this year. The local economy needs us all to spend our money locally. The Prime Minister once said “A pound spent in Croydon is of far more value to the country, from a strict utilitarian calculus, than a pound spent in Strathclyde”. He was of course totally wrong even though he was talking about the national economy. Locally a pound spent in Inverclyde is worth more than a pound spent in Glasgow or Edinburgh or China. There is the story of a tourist that pays a £100 deposit for a room, the hotelier pays a £100 bill at the butcher, the butcher pays £100 to the farmer, the farmer pays £100 to his feed supplier, the feed supplier pays £100 to the garage, the garage owner pays £100 bar bill at the hotel. The tourist returns and doesn’t want the room. The hotelier repays the £100 deposit. The economic argument is that nobody is any better off because they all got what they were owed which matched how much debt they had but the fact remains that the money spent locally stimulated the local economy and wiped off paper debts. Had anyone in the chain spent the £100 outside the town then the money would have been stimulating another local economy or one in another country.  Keeping money in our local economy is great but there is an increased benefit when people from outside the area spend their money here. They are not exactly tourists, but you see the similarities. Understandably at these times money will be tight, but please whenever possible support our local economy and have a happy new year!

Written question – Gambling [08/09/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with industry stakeholders on increasing the legal age limit to play the National Lottery to 18 years old; and if he will make a statement. (82098)

Tabled on: 28 August 2020

Nigel Huddleston:

The government held a consultation seeking views on whether to raise the minimum age for playing National Lottery games as part of work on the next National Lottery licence. In response to this consultation the government received evidence from a range of industry stakeholders and has had ongoing discussions with a number of respondents. The responses are currently being considered and I will formally respond in due course.

In addition to the evidence received through the consultation, DCMS has been engaging with the Gambling Commission on recent trends in National Lottery play, particularly amongst the younger age group.

The answer was submitted on 08 Sep 2020 at 10:54.

Written question – Treasury [08/09/2020]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure people have access to banks and cash withdrawals during the covid-19 outbreak. (82097)

Tabled on: 28 August 2020

John Glen:

In response to Covid-19, banks, building societies, credit unions and Post Offices are working with the Treasury and the financial regulators to maintain access to their services, including access to cash, while balancing the needs of their customers with the safety and welfare of staff. The vast majority of branches are open, though many are open for reduced hours. The Financial Conduct Authority has issued guidance to regulated firms, including on provision to allow a trusted third party to make payments on behalf of vulnerable customers who may be shielding or self-isolating.

The answer was submitted on 08 Sep 2020 at 09:17.