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Written Statements

Volume 624: debated on Tuesday 28 March 2017

Written Statements

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Treasury

Fourth Anti-money Laundering Directive

The Government have opted in to the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) provisions within the European Commission’s proposal to amend the fourth anti-money laundering directive. These provisions require sharing of data from registers between Financial Intelligence Units and law enforcement authorities, which we consider falls within the scope of Article 87 of the treaty on the functioning of the EU. As such, the Government believe these are JHA obligations and therefore the UK’s JHA opt-in is triggered. We have informed Council of that fact.

The Government have decided to opt in to these provisions as they improve data sharing between financial intelligence units. This is an important and necessary part of our anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime.

[HCWS567]

UK’s Counter-terrorist Asset Freezing Regime (1 April to 30 June 2016)

Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to report to Parliament, quarterly, on its operation of the UK’s asset freezing regime mandated by UN Security Council resolution 1373.

This report covers the period from 1 April 2016 to 30 June 2016.1 This report also covers the UK implementation of the UN ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida organisations asset freezing regime (ISIL-AQ) and the operation of the EU asset freezing regime in the UK under EU regulation (EC) 2580/2001 which implements UNSCR 1373 against external terrorist threats to the EU. Under the ISIL-AQ asset freezing regime, the UN has responsibility for designations and the Treasury has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under the Al-Qaida (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011. Under EU regulation 2580/2001, the EU has responsibility for designations and the Treasury has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under part 1 of TAFA 2010.

Annexes A and B to this statement provide a breakdown, by name, of all those designated by the UK and the EU in pursuance of UN Security Council resolution 1373. The one individual subject to a designation, which has been notified on a restricted and confidential basis, under sections 3 and 10 of TAFA 2010 is denoted by “A”.

The table available as an attachment online sets out the key asset-freezing activity in the UK during the quarter ending 30 June 2016:

Legal proceedings

On 15 June a hearing was held at the Court of Appeal in relation to the Treasury’s decision to revoke and not quash the designation of Moazzam BEGG. The hearing was in respect of a protective costs order of the appellant.

Annex A: Designated persons under TAFA 2010 by name2

Individuals

1. Hamed ABDOLLAHI

2. Imad Khalil AL-ALAMI

3. Abdelkarim Hussein AL-NASSER

4. Ibrahim Salih AL-YACOUB

5. Manssor ARBABSIAR

6. Usama HAMDAN

7. Hasan IZZ-AL-DIN

8. Mohammed KHALED

9. Parviz KHAN

10. Musa Abu MARZOUK

11. Khalid MISHAAL

12. Khalid Sheikh MOHAMMED

13. Abdul Reza SHAHLAI

14. Ali Gholam SHAKURI

15. Qasem SOLEIMANI

16. A (restricted designation)

Entities

1. Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)

2. Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN)

3. Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)

4. Hizballah Military Wing, including external security organisation

5. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—General Command (PFLP-GC)

6. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—(PFLP)

7. Sendero Luminoso (SL)

Annex B: Persons designated by the EU under Council regulation (EC)2580/20013

Persons

1. Hamed ABDOLLAHI*

2. Abdelkarim Hussein AL-NASSER*

3. Ibrahim Salih AL YACOUB*

4. Manssor ARBABSIAR*

5. Mohammed BOUYERI

6. Hasan IZZ-AL-DIN*

7. Khalid Sheikh MOHAMMED*

8. Abdul Reza SHAHLAI*

9. Ali Gholam SHAKURI*

10. Qasem SOLEIMANI*

Groups and entities

1. Abu Nidal Organisation (ANO)

2. Al-Aqsa E.V.

3. Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade

4. Babbar Khalsa

5. Communist Party of the Philippines, including New People’s Army (NPA), Philippines

6. Devrimci Halk Kurtulu Partisi-Cephesi—DHKP/C (Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army/Front/Party)

7. Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army)*

8. Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)*

9. Gama’a al-lslamiyya (a.k.a. Al-Gama’a al-lslamiyya) (Islamic Group—IG)

10. Hamas, including Hamas-Izz al-Din al-Qassem

11. Hizballah Military Wing, including external security organisation

12. Hizbul Mujahideen (HM)

13. Hofstadgroep

14. Islami Büyük Dogu Akincilar Cephesi (IBDA-C) (Great Islamic Eastern Warriors Front)

15. Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)

16. Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (a.k.a. KONGRA-GEL)

17. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

18. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

19. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—General Command (PFLP-GC)*

20. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—(PFLP)*

21. Sendero Luminoso (SL) (Shining Path)*

22. Teyrbazen Azadiya Kurdistan (TAK)

1 Financial institutions update HM Treasury on individual account balances annually. The figures in the first row of the table are based on account balances which were last reported to HM Treasury on 30 September 2015. At the end of each quarter HM Treasury will adjust the figures to reflect any accounts that have been frozen or unfrozen in that quarter.

2 For full listing details please refer to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-list-of-designated-persons-terrorism-and-terrorist-financing

3 For full listing details please refer to www.gov.uk

* EU listing rests on UK designation under TAFA 2010

Attachments can be viewed online at:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-03-28/HCWS562/.

[HCWS562]

UK's Counter-terrorism Asset Freezing Regime (1 July to 30 September 2016)

Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to report to Parliament, quarterly, on its operation of the UK’s asset freezing regime mandated by UN Security Council resolutions 1373 and 1452.

This report covers the period from 1 July 2016 to 30 September 2016.1 This report also covers the UK implementation of the UN ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida asset freezing regime (ISIL-AQ) and the operation of the EU asset freezing regime in the UK under EU regulation (EC) 2580/2001 which implements UNSCR 1373 against external terrorist threats to the EU. Under the ISIL-AQ asset freezing regime, the UN has responsibility for designations and the Treasury has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011. Under EU regulation 2580/2001, the EU has responsibility for designations and the Treasury has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under Part 1 of TAFA 2010.

A new EU asset freezing regime under EU regulation (2016/1686) was implemented on 22 September 2016. This permits the EU to make autonomous Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) listings. Once a designation is made under this regime it will appear in the table below.

Annexes A and B to this statement provide a breakdown, by name, of all those designated by the UK and the EU in pursuance of UN Security Council resolution 1373.

The table available as an attachment online sets out the key asset-freezing activity in the UK during the quarter: 1 July 2016 to 30 September 2016

Legal proceedings

On 8 August 2016, the designation of one individual referred to in previous reports as “A” was lifted by the court with effect from 11 March 2016.

Annexe A: Designated persons under TAFA 2010 by name2

Individuals

1. Hamed ABDOLLAHI

2. Imad Khalil AL-ALAMI

3. Abdelkarim Hussein AL-NASSER

4. Ibrahim Salih AL-YACOUB

5. Manssor ARBABSIAR

6. Usama HAMDAN

7. Hasan IZZ-AL-DIN

8. Mohammed KHALED

9. Musa Abu MARZOUK

10. Khalid MISHAAL

11. Khalid Sheikh MOHAMMED

12. Abdul Reza SHAHLAI

13. Ali Gholam SHAKURI

14. Qasem SOLEIMANI

Entities

1. Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)

2. Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN)

3. Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)

4. Hizballah Military Wing, including external security organisation

5. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—General Command (PFLP-GC)

6. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—(PFLP)

7. Sendero Luminoso (SL)

Annex B: Persons designated by the EU under Council regulation (EC)2580/20013

Persons

1. Hamed ABDOLLAHI*

2. Abdelkarim Hussein AL-NASSER*

3. Ibrahim Salih AL YACOUB*

4. Manssor ARBABSIAR*

5. Mohammed BOUYERI

6. Hasan IZZ-AL-DIN*

7. Khalid Sheikh MOHAMMED*

8. Abdul Reza SHAHLAI*

9. Ali Gholam SHAKURI*

10. Qasem SOLEIMANI*

Groups and entities

1. Abu Nidal Organisation (ANO)

2. Al-Aqsa E.V.

3. Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade

4. Babbar Khalsa

5. Communist Party of the Philippines, including New People’s Army (NPA), Philippines

6. Devrimci Halk Kurtulu Partisi-Cephesi—DHKP/C (Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army/Front/Party)

7. Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army)*

8. Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)*

9. Gama’a al-lslamiyya (a.k.a. Al-Gama’a al-lslamiyya) (Islamic Group—IG)

10. Hamas, including Hamas-Izz al-Din al-Qassem

11. Hizballah Military Wing, including external security organisation

12. Hizbul Mujahideen (HM)

13. Hofstadgroep

14. Islami Büyük Dogu Akincilar Cephesi (IBDA-C) (Great Islamic Eastern Warriors Front)

15. Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)

16. Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (a.k.a. KONGRA-GEL)

17. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

18. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

19. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—General Command (PFLP-GC)*

20. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—(PFLP)*

21. Sendero Luminoso (SL) (Shining Path)*

22. Teyrbazen Azadiya Kurdistan (TAK)

1 Financial institutions update HM Treasury on individual account balances annually. The figures in the first row of the table are based on account balances which were last reported to HM Treasury on 30 September 2015. At the end of each quarter HM Treasury will adjust the figures to reflect any accounts that have been frozen or unfrozen in that quarter.

2 For full listing details please refer to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-list-of-designated-persons-terrorism-and-terrorist-financing

3 For full listing details please refer to www.gov.uk

* EU listing rests on UK designation under TAFA 2010

Attachments can be viewed online at:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-03-28/HCWS562/.

[HCWS564]

Communities and Local Government

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

In line with the statement I made on 16 March 2017, and giving due consideration to representations made by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on 22 March 2017,1 am informing the House that I am exercising my powers under section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999 and revoking the directions of 14 December 2014 in relation to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

This will end the role of commissioners in the council and hand back executive functions to the executive Mayor.

From 1 April 2017 I am putting in place a further general direction for a period of 18 months to 30 September 2018. The general direction includes requirements that the council:

delivers all outstanding actions in their best value action plan and sets up a best value improvement board as outlined in the Mayor’s letter of 1 March 2017;

provides me with quarterly reports against their best value action plans for a further 12 months;

carries out an independent review of delivery at the end of this period; and

abides by the best value duty, as with all councils.

The new direction allows for continued oversight of electoral administration.

I am placing a copy of the documents associated with these announcements in the Library of the House and on my Department’s website.

[HCWS569]

Neighbourhood Planning Bill: EVEL

I am pleased to announce the publication of analysis of English votes for English laws in relation to Government and non-Government amendments made to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill during its passage through the House of Lords.

The English votes for English laws process applies to Public Bills in the House of Commons. To support the process, the Government have agreed that it will provide information to assist the Speaker in considering whether to certify the Bill or any of its provisions for the purposes of English votes for English laws. Bill provisions that relate exclusively to England or to England and Wales, and which have a subject matter within the legislative competence of one or more of the devolved legislatures, can be certified.

The memorandum provides an assessment of Government and non-Government amendments made to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill, for the purposes of English votes for English laws, ahead of Commons consideration of Lords amendments. The Department’s assessment is the amendments do not change the territorial application of the Bill. I have deposited a copy in the Libraries of the House.

[HCWS566]

Defence

Armed Forces' Pay Review Body 21017

The 2017 Report of the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB) has now been published. I wish to express my thanks to the Chair and members of the Review Body for their report.

The AFPRB recommendations are to be accepted in full and will become effective from 1 April 2017. Copies of the AFPRB report are available in the Vote Office.

[HCWS560]

NATO's Enhance Forward Presence

At the Warsaw summit in 2016, NATO allies agreed to enhance the alliance’s deterrence and defence posture in response to the growing threats the Euro-Atlantic region faces, including Russian belligerence. The UK is leading the work necessary to deliver an alliance that is capable and credible of responding to all threats. We took the decision to provide one of the four defensive, but combat-capable, battlegroups that NATO is now deploying to the Baltic states and Poland to defend NATO. This enhanced forward presence (eFP) demonstrates allies’ solidarity, determination, and ability to act by triggering an immediate allied response to any aggression.

The main body of our fighting forces will arrive in Estonia and Poland in the coming weeks.

We are providing the framework battlegroup of around 800 military personnel in Estonia, with around 200 additional troops from France and Denmark: French forces will join us in 2017 and Danish forces in 2018. The 5 RIFLES is providing the majority of the UK military personnel for the first rotation, and we are also deploying armoured infantry equipped with warrior armoured fighting vehicles, artillery, tactical unmanned aerial vehicles, and a small troop of Challenger 2 main battle tanks.

Our battlegroup will contribute to regional defence and security. We will actively support the Estonian defence force’s 1st Infantry Brigade in its role deterring aggression, and we will conduct joint exercising and training with Danish, French, Estonian, and other forces in the region to build a strong multinational battlegroup.

Based on our close bilateral relationship, we are also sending a British light cavalry squadron of 150 Light Dragoons to Poland. This force will fall under the US eFP battlegroup in Poland, and we will work closely with our Polish and US allies to deter aggression against NATO territory.

We are prepared in case our forces are tested by Russia, including through cyber-attacks and false media reports. We are taking all necessary steps to protect our personnel. We will ensure that our forces maintain the highest standards of conduct, and if it is found that a false allegation has been made against an individual or group of British Service personnel, the UK Government will ensure that the matter is publicly refuted and, where possible, provide clear attribution of the originator.

Our forces in Estonia are a proportionate response to the changed security environment in eastern Europe, as demonstrated by Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. The eFP deployments send a strong message of NATO’s strength and unity as well as its commitment to defend Poland and the Baltic states.

The UK has been transparent with Russia about our eFP plans; Vice Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Gordon Messenger discussed them with his counterpart, Colonel General Zhuravlev when they met in Moscow last month, and eFP has also been briefed to Russia at the NATO-Russia Council level.

[HCWS563]

Education

Department for Education Agencies

Today I am announcing the creation of a single funding agency for education and skills (excluding higher education), bringing together the Education Funding Agency and Skills Funding Agency. The new single funding agency will sit within the Department for Education and be operational from April 2017.

The creation of a new single agency—to be called the Education and Skills Funding Agency—will complete the process started in November 2014 when we appointed a single Chief Executive for both agencies. Since then significant progress has been made in bringing the two agencies together through shared services and close working arrangements.

Creating the ESFA will bring benefits to the individuals and organisations we support as well as to the taxpayer. It will enable a single, joined-up approach to funding and regulation to improve accountability.

We will be working closely with our staff, unions, stakeholders and the education sector to finalise and deliver our plans for the new agency.

[HCWS559]

Health

NHS Pay Review Body

I am responding on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 30th Report of the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB). The report has been laid before Parliament today (Cm 9440) and is attached.

We welcome the 30th report of the NHS Pay Review Body.

The Government are pleased to accept its recommendations for a 1% increase to all “Agenda for Change” pay points from 1 April 2017 and the high cost area supplement minimum and maximum payments. This will be in addition to incremental pay for those that are eligible.

The recommendation that Health Departments should ensure that annual pay awards do not have unintended consequences in reducing the take-home pay of staff whose pay award causes them to cross pension contribution thresholds, will be considered as part of the four-yearly valuation of the NHS pension scheme, a process which will determine the appropriate level of employer and employee pension contributions from April 2019.

The Government will consider all the observations and report progress to the NHS Pay Review Body in due course.

Attachments can be viewed online at:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-03-28/HCWS565/

[HCWS565]

Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (Review Body)

I am responding on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 45th report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB). The report has been laid before Parliament today (Cm 9441) and is available as an attachment online. I am grateful to the chair and members of the DDRB for their report.

We welcome the 45th report of the DDRB.

The Government are pleased to accept its recommendations for a 1% increase for 2017-18 to:

the national salary scales for salaried doctors and dentists. This will be in addition to incremental pay for those that are eligible;

the maximum and minimum of the salary range for salaried general medical practitioners;

pay, net of expenses, for independent contractor general medical and dental practitioners;

the general medical practitioners trainers’ grant;

the flexible pay premia included in the new junior doctors’ contract; and

the value of the awards for consultants—clinical excellence awards, discretionary points and commitment awards.

The Government also accept the DDRB’s recommendations that the supplement payable to general practice specialty registrars should remain at 45% of basic salary for those on the existing UK-wide contract and that the rate for general medical practitioner appraisers should remain at £500.

he Government accept the recommendations to report to the DDRB on doctors and dentists taking early retirement and reasons for this.

The Government note the recommendation for giving further consideration to pay targeting by specialty and geography.

The Government also note the DDRB’s observation that there is at present insufficient evidence about aspects of our workforce of salaried general medical practitioners.

Attachments can be viewed online at:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-03-28/HCWS568/

[HCWS568]

Home Department

Europol Regulation Opt-in

On 14 November 2016 the Government announced their intention to opt in to the new Europol regulation. After a debate in the House of Commons in December which supported the Government’s position, we communicated that decision to the European Commission on 16 December. The European Commission confirmed the participation of the UK in the new Europol regulation via a Commission decision ((EU) 2017/388) dated 6 March 2017.

Opting into the new regulation means that the UK will remain a full member of Europol when the new regulation comes into force on 1 May. It also demonstrates our commitment to work together with our European partners to fight crime and prevent terrorism now and when we leave the EU.

[HCWS558]

Justice

Justice Update

The Ministry of Justice robustly monitors all commercial contracts. In January, officials in my Department notified EMS, the provider of the electronic monitoring service, of an increase in the number of alerts that are raised when the electronic monitoring equipment worn by an offender or suspect is tampered with.

This was investigated by EMS and G4S, the suppliers of straps and tags used to electronically monitor offenders and suspects with a curfew.

At the end of February G4S informed the Ministry of an issue with faulty straps. Ministers were informed of this issue on 14 March.

The monitoring functions of the tags themselves are not affected and the security features within the tags have been working correctly. I can assure the House that there has been no risk to the public.

We understand that the number of affected straps is small. Only straps that have entered the system since October 2016 are affected. This is the point at which the batch of potentially faulty straps entered circulation. G4S has been testing straps. That testing indicates that around 1% (115) of the 11,500 straps in use today are faulty.

If no tampering with the tag has been registered, they have operated as normal. Where a strap is faulty, however, there is a risk that it could incorrectly register that somebody has tampered with it.

There is a small chance that some enforcement action may have been taken against an offender or suspect in response to a false report of a tamper. It does not mean an individual will have been automatically sent to custody. A single tamper alert without any additional evidence of an escalation of risk is likely to result in an alternative outcome, such as a warning letter. So it is unlikely that a first tamper on its own will result in an offender being recalled. The Ministry is working with G4S and EMS to investigate that further. The issue is also being brought to the attention of the courts.

As a result of this issue, all potentially faulty straps will either be removed or replaced. This process is underway. In the interim, we will continue to monitor and respond to tamper alerts ensuring that where it is appropriate to do so enforcement action is taken.

G4S has introduced further quality checks with the strap manufacturer to ensure that no more faulty straps enter the supply chain. The taxpayer will bear no cost for the faults.

[HCWS561]