Written question – Medical cannabis [17/11/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department (a) is taking to improve access to medicinal cannabis for people living with multiple sclerosis and (b) if he will publish a Government strategy for improving access to medicinal cannabis. (109474)

Tabled on: 30 October 2020

Answer:
Jo Churchill:

Two prescription medicines – Sativex – for the treatment of spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis patients, and Epidyolex – for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy, have been made available for prescribing on the National Health Service, where clinically appropriate. This follows clear demonstrated evidence of their safety, and clinical and cost effectiveness.

We continue to work hard with the health system, industry and researchers to improve the evidence base for other cannabis-based medicines, and to implement the recommendations of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s review on barriers to accessing unlicensed cannabis based medicinal products. This includes the design of clinical trials and the establishment of a national patient registry.

The answer was submitted on 17 Nov 2020 at 13:43.

Written question – Animal welfare [09/11/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress his Department has made on the future of pet travel between the UK and the EU after the end of the transition period. (109477)

Tabled on: 30 October 2020

Answer:
Victoria Prentis:

There will be no change to the current health or documentary requirements for pets entering GB from the EU from 1 January 2021, in the immediate term. This is to ensure a smooth transition.

The Department has submitted an application to the European Commission to become a ‘Part I’ listed third country in relation to non-commercial movement of pet dogs, cats and ferrets from the UK into the EU. Acceptance of this application would mean very similar documentation and health requirements to those that are required now for pet owners and users of assistance dogs travelling to the EU. The Commission is considering our application.

The requirements for entry to the EU after the end of the transition period are dependent on the UK’s listed status and information on requirements will be communicated via further updates on GOV.UK. It is the duty of a responsible Government to adequately prepare those who travel with pets to the EU under any listing scenario, including in the event that GB becomes an unlisted third country. We issued guidance in early August to ensure that those who wish to travel with their pet on the 1st January 2021 will be able to do so. We have recommended that pet owners visit their vet four months in advance of travel to the EU.

The answer was submitted on 09 Nov 2020 at 16:11.

Written question – gambling [08/10/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing a longitudinal study of gambling-related harm. (99020)

Tabled on: 05 October 2020

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which Departments will participate in the review of gambling legislation. (99019)
    Tabled on: 05 October 2020
  2. To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with (a) the Department for Health and Social Care, (b) the Gambling Commission and (c) the Prime Minister’s Office on the establishment of a review of gambling legislation. (99021)
    Tabled on: 05 October 2020

Answer:
Nigel Huddleston:

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport works closely with the Department for Health and Social Care and wider government on issues related to gambling and will continue to do so throughout the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act 2005. Further details will be announced in due course.

The Gambling Commission is the independent regulator for the gambling industry and provides advice to government on gambling related matters, including on the scope of the Gambling Act Review.

As outlined in answer to Question 96926, the Gambling Commission commissioned and published a scoping review looking at the feasibility of a longitudinal study of gambling behaviours and problem gambling, and how that study would best be conducted, and the Commission is now considering next steps.

The answer was submitted on 08 Oct 2020 at 11:29.

Written question – Gambling [25/09/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 September 2020 to Question 91087 on Football: Gambling, if he will make an assessment of (a) the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to place the industry whistle to whistle ban on gambling on a statutory basis and (b) the effect of gambling advertising on children. (93619)

Tabled on: 22 September 2020

Answer:
Nigel Huddleston:

The Government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age, and further details will be announced in due course.

As set out in the answer to Question 91087, in August 2019 the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) Code for Socially Responsible Advertising was amended to ban betting adverts on TV during live sport before the 9pm watershed. Industry figures indicate that exposure to sports gambling advertising during the times covered by the whistle-to-whistle ban has fallen by 96%. In addition, data published by the Advertising Standards Authority looking at children’s exposure to gambling advertising in 2019 – including the first 6 months of the whistle to whistle ban – shows that children’s exposure to sports betting advertising on TV has fallen to 0.3 per week. The Gambling Commission’s code of practice for operators already requires adherence to the IGRG code, and failure to do so can be used as evidence in any compliance or enforcement activity that the Commission undertakes.

As outlined in the answer to Question 73907, the Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Since then, in March this year, the charity GambleAware has published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young and vulnerable people. That study found that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble. It also found that there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups including peer and parental gambling. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and problem gambling in later life.

The answer was submitted on 25 Sep 2020 at 10:34.

Written question – Transport [25/09/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the safety of e-scooters; and what discussions he has had with (a) the Scottish Government, (b) road safety campaign and (c) scooter manufactures on the safety of e-scooters. (91776)

Tabled on: 18 September 2020

Answer:
Rachel Maclean:

The Department has set out a series of technical standards for e-scooter models to comply with, in order to participate in trials, and have been working closely with operators of e-scooters to ensure their models demonstrate compliance with these standards.

Officials and Ministers have met with a wide range of stakeholders in developing and implementing e-scooter trial policy, including the Scottish Government, manufacturers and safety groups.

The answer was submitted on 25 Sep 2020 at 13:08.

Written question – Gambling [21/09/2020]

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on levels of problem gambling of permitting the advertising of gambling on football shirts; and whether the forthcoming Gambling Review will make an assessment of the potential merits of (a) placing on a statutory basis the industry whistle to whistle ban on gambling and (b) banning gambling advertising from football. (91087)

Tabled on: 16 September 2020

Answer:
Nigel Huddleston:

Problem gambling is a complex issue and there are multiple and varied factors which contribute to its development in individuals. Figures from the British Gambling Prevalence Surveys and Health Surveys suggest that problem gambling rates in Great Britain have remained stable at below 1% since 1999.

Gambling sponsorship must be socially responsible and must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Football Association has strict rules about the size and placement of sponsor logos on all players’ shirts, and prohibits any reference to gambling or gambling operators on shirts for teams where all players are under 18 years old. The gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising also requires that operators’ logos must not appear on any commercial merchandising which is designed for children (for instance in children’s sizes). In August 2019 the code was amended to include a whistle to whistle ban on broadcast advertising around live sport.

The government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age and further details will be announced in due course.

The answer was submitted on 21 Sep 2020 at 15:13.

Written question – Gambling

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on levels of problem gambling of permitting the advertising of gambling on football shirts; and whether the forthcoming Gambling Review will make an assessment of the potential merits of (a) placing on a statutory basis the industry whistle to whistle ban on gambling and (b) banning gambling advertising from football. (91087)

Tabled on: 16 September 2020

Answer:
Nigel Huddleston:

Problem gambling is a complex issue and there are multiple and varied factors which contribute to its development in individuals. Figures from the British Gambling Prevalence Surveys and Health Surveys suggest that problem gambling rates in Great Britain have remained stable at below 1% since 1999.

Gambling sponsorship must be socially responsible and must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Football Association has strict rules about the size and placement of sponsor logos on all players’ shirts, and prohibits any reference to gambling or gambling operators on shirts for teams where all players are under 18 years old. The gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising also requires that operators’ logos must not appear on any commercial merchandising which is designed for children (for instance in children’s sizes). In August 2019 the code was amended to include a whistle to whistle ban on broadcast advertising around live sport.

The government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age and further details will be announced in due course.

The answer was submitted on 21 Sep 2020 at 15:13.

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

Question:
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

Answer:
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.