Tuesday 14 November 2017
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
General Affairs Council (November 2017)
A meeting of the General Affairs Council (cohesion) will be held in Brussels on 15 November 2017. The UK will be represented by Rory O’Donnell (Counsellor for Regions, Agriculture and Fisheries) from the UK permanent representation to the European Union.
The General Affairs Council is expected to focus on the modification of the common provisions regulation; followed by an exchange of views based on the seventh report on economic, social and territorial cohesion.
Modification of the commons provisions regulation
The Estonian presidency will provide an update on proposed changes to the common provisions regulation (the overarching EU regulation which governs the European structural and investment funds). These are expected to be in place before our withdrawal from the EU and were proposed by the Commission as part of the mid-term review of the multiannual financial framework (MFF) in order to simplify and harmonise existing regulations.
Seventh report on economic, social and territorial cohesion
The Council will discuss conclusions from the cohesion report, which assesses the EU’s cohesion policy in recent years and recognises the need for greater visibility in its implementation. It calls for further simplification and flexibility in the period beyond 2020. A discussion between member states on the themes raised in the report is expected.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Today DCMS publishes “The Mendoza Review: an independent review of museums in England” and the “Strategic Review of DCMS-sponsored museums”.
Neil Mendoza was the lead, independent reviewer. He was supported by officials at DCMS. Throughout the process Neil engaged closely with the museums sector, Arts Council England (ACE), Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Historic England (HE), and relevant Government Departments.
The Mendoza review of museums in England
The Mendoza review is the first in over a decade to examine the English museums sector. It was commissioned in response to the culture White Paper in 2016 which called for
“a wide-ranging review of national, local and regional museums, working closely with ACE and HLF”.
Therefore, it has looked at what the national infrastructure for museums is, what it could and should be, the museums sponsored directly by Government, and the challenges and opportunities for all of England’s museums. While it focuses primarily on the 1,312 ACE accredited museums, it does consider the wider context of the sector, which encompasses approximately 2,000 museums in England. The review does not cover the policy of free admission to the permanent collections of national museums as this is a manifesto commitment.
The Mendoza review proposes recommendations enabling a more strategic approach to public funding for museums from Government and their arm’s length bodies. It highlights the increased importance for Government and their ALBs—including the national lottery—of distributing funding in a more joined-up and effective fashion. The roles and responsibilities for relevant stakeholders are divided as follows:
a more strategic and focused approach by DCMS and its ALBs;
a more prominent and assertive role for Arts Council England;
a more strategic use of lottery funding for museums;
a more active role for Historic England;
and national responsibilities for national museums.
The review also sets out ideas for local authorities on how to make best use of their museums, and best practice suggestions for the sector itself.
The report is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/ publications/the-mendoza-review-independent-review-of-museums-in-england
Strategic review of DCMS-sponsored museums
Alongside the Mendoza review we publish the “Strategic review of DCMS-sponsored museums”. This is the first clustered review undertaken by any Government Department, following Cabinet Office guidelines for tailored reviews. It examines the form and functions of 16 ALBs (15 museums and the British Library) sponsored by DCMS, their functions, forms, effectiveness, efficiency and accountability. Of particular importance was establishing the extent of the leadership and co-ordinating activity these ALBs provide, nationally and internationally, identifying any areas for improvement. It should be read alongside the Mendoza review for a full picture of the role, importance and significance of the sponsored museums, especially after the UK’s exit from the European Union, and how the findings from this review feed into and support its recommendations.
Both reviews benefited from the independent challenge panel, members of which were appointed to ensure the review’s robustness and impartiality. I am also grateful to the following Government Departments who sat on the programme board: Her Majesty’s Treasury, Cabinet Office, the Department for Education, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Ministry of Defence. Finally, I would like to thank all those who contributed evidence to the review through the public consultation.
The report is available at:
Teacher Recruitment, Leadership and Development
Today I am confirming that the Government have decided to transfer the functions of the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) relating to the recruitment of teachers, teacher development, and leadership into the core of the Department for Education. This will enable better delivery of the overall co-ordinated strategy to support and develop a strong high-quality teaching profession with continuous professional development at its heart.
The agency’s remaining functions and responsibilities will focus on the regulation of the teaching profession, including misconduct hearings, and acting as the competent authority for teaching in England. Its role will also include the recognition of the professional status of teachers from outside England. It will remain an Executive agency of the Department for Education and will be known in future as the Teaching Regulation Agency. The repurposed agency will be operational from 1 April 2018.
The Department will work with staff, unions, stakeholders and the education sector to finalise and deliver our plans.
Details of today’s statement will be published on gov.uk.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Hydrofluorocarbon Greenhouse Gases
I am pleased to inform the House that the United Kingdom has completed ratification of an amendment to the United Nations’ Montreal protocol.
The Kigali amendment requires a phase-down of the production and use of hydrofluorocarbon greenhouse gases (HFCs) over the next three decades in order to mitigate climate change. Agreed in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2016 by 197 parties to the protocol, the amendment commits the UK and other developed countries to reduce HFCs by 85% between 2019 and 2036.
The Montreal protocol is the international treaty agreed in 1987 to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. UK scientists played a key role in discovering the hole in the ozone layer and it was the Conservative Government in the 1980s which pushed hard for international action to protect it. This year the protocol celebrates its 30th anniversary. It has so far succeeded in phasing out 98% (by potency) of the chemicals responsible for damaging the ozone layer, protecting human health, agriculture and the wider environment. These chemicals include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and were principally used in refrigeration, air conditioning, aerosols, insulation foams, fire extinguishers and various other industrial applications. As a result of their phase-out, the ozone layer is showing the first signs of recovery.
The main family of replacement chemicals, HFCs, do not damage the ozone layer but are potent greenhouse gases, with a global warming potential ranging from hundreds to thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide. The growth of refrigeration and air conditioning in developing countries means HFC use could have amounted to as much as 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
With the increasing availability of HFC alternatives for most uses, the UK is already committed to cut HFC usage by 79% by 2030—among the most ambitious phase-downs in the world. The Kigali amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2019 provided at least 20 countries have ratified it by then, else it will enter into force 90 days following the 20th ratification. Once the amendment has entered into force, this will mean the rest of the world will be following our lead in phasing down HFCs, making a major contribution to addressing climate change and helping level the playing field for UK businesses.
It is estimated that this deal will avoid cumulative emissions equivalent to between 74 billion and 84 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2050, which equates to the output of over 700 coal fired power stations operating between now and 2050. In turn that is likely to avoid close to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of this century, making a major contribution to the Paris climate agreement goal of keeping the global temperature increase well below 2 degrees.
The UK played a central role in agreeing the deal, and is now one of the first nations in the world to ratify this ground-breaking UN agreement.
The key elements of the amendment are as follows.
Developed countries will meet the following phase-down commitment:
By 2019, production and consumption of HFCs will be reduced by 10% relative to the amount of HFCs produced or consumed in the years 2011 to 2013, plus an additional allowance of 15% of the baseline used for their phase-out of HCFCs.
By 2024, the amount will be reduced by 40% and then by 70% by 2029, 80% by 2034 and finally 85% by 2036.
All developing countries, except India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Iraq will meet the following phase-down commitment:
By 2024, production and consumption of HFCs will be limited to 100% of the average amount of HFCs produced or consumed in the years 2020 to 2022, plus an additional allowance of 65% of the baseline used for their phase-out of HCFCs.
By 2029, this amount will be reduced by 10% and then by 30% in 2035, 50% in 2040 and finally 80% by 2045.
Production and consumption established before 2020 will be eligible for financial support from developed countries to help with the transition to low global warming alternatives.
India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Iraq will meet the following phase-down commitment
By 2028, production and consumption of HFCs will be limited to 100% of the average amount of HFCs produced or consumed in the years 2024 to 2026, plus an additional allowance of 65% of the baseline used for their phase-out of HCFCs.
By 2032, this amount will be reduced by 10% and then by 20% in 2037, 30% in 2042 and finally 85% by 2047.
Production and consumption established before 2024 will be eligible for financial support from developed countries to help with the transition to low global warming alternatives.
Certain Gulf countries and others with high average temperatures will be able to exempt large-scale air conditioning from the phase-down requirements if they believe suitable alternatives are not available for their climates.
There will be a review of the availability of technologies which use alternatives to HFCs in 2022 and every five years thereafter to inform any necessary adjustments to the phase-down schedule. There will also be a review four to five years before 2028 specifically to consider whether those countries which have to cap HFC production and use by 2028 need a compliance deferral of two years due to faster HFC growth than anticipated.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
NATO Parliamentary Assembly
The following will represent the United Kingdom at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly:
Baroness Adams of Craigielea
Richard Benyon MP (Leader)
Lord Campbell of Pittenweem
Douglas Chapman MP
Mary Creagh MP
Nigel Dodds MP
Mike Gapes MP
James Gray MP
Lord Hamilton of Epsom
Mr Kevan Jones MP
Jack Lopresti MP
Mrs Madeleine Moon MP
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale
Andrew Rosindell MP
Alec Shelbrooke MP
John Spellar MP
Bob Stewart MP
Forensic Science Regulator
My hon. Friend the Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Williams of Trafford) has today made the following written ministerial statement:
I am today announcing the reappointment of Dr Gillian Tully as forensic science regulator (FSR). The FSR is an independent office holder responsible for establishing and encouraging compliance with quality standards for forensic science. Dr Tully will be appointed for a second term of three years from 17 November 2017 to 16 November 2020.
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: UK Delegation
This written ministerial statement confirms that the United Kingdom delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is constituted as follows:
Full Representatives Substitute Members Hannah Bardell MP Lord Anderson Liam Byrne MP Lord Balfe Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP Lord Blencathra Earl of Dundee Alex Chalk MP Baroness Eccles of Moulton Christopher Chope MP Nigel Evans MP Colin Clark MP Mrs Cheryl Gillan MP Vernon Coaker MP John Howell MP Stella Creasy MP Susan Elan-Jones MP David T C Davies MP Sir Edward Leigh MP Lord Foulkes Kerry McCarthy MP Conor McGinn MP Ian Liddell-Grainger MP Shabana Mahmood MP Baroness Massey of Darwen Mary Robinson MP Lord Prescott Lord Russell of Liverpool Virendra Sharma MP Tommy Sheppard MP Angela Smith MP Maggie Throup MP Phil Wilson MP Lord Touhig Martin Whitfield MP
Hannah Bardell MP
Liam Byrne MP
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP
Earl of Dundee
Alex Chalk MP
Baroness Eccles of Moulton
Christopher Chope MP
Nigel Evans MP
Colin Clark MP
Mrs Cheryl Gillan MP
Vernon Coaker MP
John Howell MP
Stella Creasy MP
Susan Elan-Jones MP
David T C Davies MP
Sir Edward Leigh MP
Kerry McCarthy MP
Conor McGinn MP
Ian Liddell-Grainger MP
Shabana Mahmood MP
Baroness Massey of Darwen
Mary Robinson MP
Lord Russell of Liverpool
Virendra Sharma MP
Tommy Sheppard MP
Angela Smith MP
Maggie Throup MP
Phil Wilson MP
Martin Whitfield MP