Tag Archives: HM Government


News story: International Development Secretary visits Catterick Garrison

Priti Patel visited members of 32 Engineer Regiment today, as they prepare to deploy in support of the UN Peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

The deployment of 162 British personnel from Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire will increase the number of UK military in South Sudan to approximately 400.

These troops are primarily split between Malakal and Bentiu in the north of South Sudan, where they are providing engineering and medical support at UN camps and helping to develop logistical routes to improve the delivery of humanitarian aid, a vital task in a country where movement by road is virtually impossible due to a lack of infrastructure.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:

The brave members of our Armed Forces are a credit to our country and ahead of their deployment to the UN peacekeeping mission to save lives in South Sudan, I’m delighted to have met men and women from 32 Engineer Regiment.

The situation on the ground in South Sudan is catastrophic and a man-made disaster. Conflict and instability has led to grotesque levels of violence and persecution, and Britain is leading the way in providing life-saving and emergency food, water and medicine to those in need.

The engineering and medical expertise of our deployed British soldiers will make a real difference, bringing skills that the UN desperately needs to protect innocent people in this terrible conflict.

Britain can stand tall in the world, with the dedication of our Armed Forces helping to save lives, rebuild South Sudan and bringing stability and peace to the people who live there.

Priti Patel learns more about the UK’s support to the UN Peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. Picture: Matt Lower/DFID

In South Sudan, 6 million people face the daily reality of going without enough food and water and nearly 4 million people have been forced from their homes because of ruthless violence and widespread sexual assault.

The International Development Secretary visited South Sudan in April to urge parties to the conflict stop the spiral of violence, end the atrocious human rights abuses and allow urgently needed aid to reach those in need. This followed intense fighting between Government and opposition forces and restrictions on access for humanitarian organisations trying to deliver lifesaving supplies.

The UK is the second largest bilateral provider of lifesaving humanitarian assistance in South Sudan and is the leading provider of health and education services. This year the UK will provide 500,000 people with food, safe drinking water for more than 300,000 people, and with other donors is providing nutritional supplements to over 100,000 children and pregnant women.

Notes to Editors

  • The UK was one of the first major donors to respond to the UN’s appeal to South Sudan – pledging less than 24 hours after the appeal was launched – and we are leading the way by making sure millions of people in South Sudan get urgently needed food, water and medicine, as well as longer term support to provide much-needed education.
  • We are providing £100 million of humanitarian assistance to South Sudan this year. This will provide food for over 500,000 people, safe drinking water for over 300,000 people, emergency health services for over 100,000 people and support for 650,000 people to build their livelihoods.
  • The UK has also matched £10 million of the public donations to the DEC’s East Africa appeal which has raised £60 million since its launch.
  • Over half a million new refugees arrived in Uganda in 2016, 88% of them from South Sudan – more than crossed the Mediterranean into Europe. Around 2,200 arrive each day. There are now nearly 1 million South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda.
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News story: Update on rehousing former Grenfell residents

Update on the housing commitment to residents who lived in Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk.

Finding permanent new homes for former residents of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk is a top priority for both the government and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC).

Some permanent housing is now available and the council has published details (PDF, 108 KB of how they will work with families to allocate permanent homes.

No one will be forced to accept any home, and the council will continue to make more offers as long as it is reasonable and practical to do so.

The information for residents also includes a summary of commitments to residents from the council and government, including:

  • residents will be offered permanent furnished social housing within 12 months and all moving costs will be covered
  • when residents move out of hotels or emergency accommodation (whether to temporary accommodation or a permanent home) they will not have to pay rent, service charges or core utility bills (gas, water and electricity) during this period
  • after this 12 month period residents that had held a council tenancy at Grenfell Tower or Grenfell Walk will pay no more in rent and service charges for their permanent social housing than they were paying before; those who did not hold a council tenancy for a flat in Grenfell Tower or Grenfell Walk will be charged at a social rent level

The council will hold meetings with former residents of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk individually so they can explain the process in detail and answer any questions. They will continue to provide housing advice and support to residents throughout the rehousing process.

If residents have any questions about the housing allocations process they can contact RBKC on 020 7361 3034.

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Speech: Foreign Secretary holds press conference in Tokyo, Japan

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson & Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

UK and Japan press conference

Thank you very much, Fumio.

I’m actually absolutely delighted to be back here in Japan and thank you for the warm welcome that you have given us. I went for a run this morning, as I do when I’m in Tokyo, anticlockwise around the Imperial Palace and I want you know I was overtaken by absolutely everybody, of all ages. Well everybody was running much faster than me but my ego can survive this because yesterday I saw a robot, a Japanese robot, that could run faster than me and so I’m full of admiration, I know what an amazing place this is. What an amazing, inventive, dynamic economy Japan is.

But what we’re trying to do here today, Fumio and I, is to build on that relationship and that partnership and I’ve no doubt at all that it is going to get stronger and stronger. I’ve seen some fantastic examples of UK exports to Japan. A Honda Civic, by the way made in Swindon that I drove yesterday. And Japanese investments in the U.K. contrary to some of the gloomy stuff that you might see in some of the media, Japanese investments in the U.K. are at record high since the Brexit vote last year and I have no doubt at all that we are going to build a fantastic relationship with our friends and partners in the EU. We’re leaving the EU but we’re not leaving Europe. And one that allows us to continue to build our commercial and economic relations with Japan.

As you’ve mentioned Fumio, we share the same values and we share the same security threats, we face the same foes including from terrorism and indeed North Korea. And I want to stress that Britain stands shoulder to shoulder alongside Japan in our steadfast determination to stop North Korea’s persistent violations of United Nations resolutions. Two weeks ago we saw the test of an ICBM, unquestionably an ICBM, that landed in the Sea of Japan in what can only be called a reckless provocation. We all need to increase the pressure on Pyongyang through diplomacy and sanctions and that must include China using its influence to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.

The UK has been in the forefront of that effort whether it’s the United Nations Security Council, or with our friends and partners in Europe and again here today in Japan. The threats that confront us are global and so our cooperation between the UK and Japan is now truly global. Britain and Japan work hand in glove in the UN Security Council on issues ranging from Syria to South Sudan. In Africa we’re working together on de-mining projects in Angola and we jointly trained peacekeepers in Senegal. Last year, The Royal Air Force sent typhoon fighters to Japan where they became the first non US Air Force to exercise alongside their Japanese counterparts. And I’m delighted that Britain is going to be using our expertise in hosting London 2012 to help ensure Japan Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are just as successful, as I’m sure indeed that they will be.

Counterterrorism and cybersecurity, our particular focuses of our cooperation both between government and business and as an example of the growing UK Japan cyber cooperation, I welcome the signing yesterday of a strategic partnership between the UK company Darktrace, and NEC Networks and System Integration, Corporation.

Fumio, thank you for welcoming us today and thank you for the friendship and the partnership between us. This is a unique relationship between the U.K. and Japan. We have no other relationship like this. This is a partnership between two democracies, and by the way two constitutional monarchies, two island nations that share a great deal. Not just our belief in free-trade, our belief in democracy, but of course our joint belief in the rules based international order which we uphold.

Thank you very much everybody and thank you Fumio for welcoming us today.

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News story: From the first global TV broadcast to the future of satellite telecommunications

The Telstar 1 communications satellite revolutionised popular entertainment and represented a turning point that would see us become reliant on space in ways that were unimaginable in 1962. From weather forecasting to banking to communications and navigating in our cars, space is now part of our everyday lives.

The first 20-minute broadcast started a couple minutes ahead of schedule as soon as Telstar came into range and opened with footage of a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs before switching to President John F. Kennedy’s press conference in Washington, D.C.

Although only operational for a few months and relaying brief television signals, Telstar captured the imagination of the world. The transmission in 1962, which was sent to the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station in Cornwall, has evolved into the global communications network of today.

Space is now vital to our economy, security and well-being. In the UK the thriving space industry contributes over £13.7 billion to the economy and employs more than 38,000 workers. The UK is a global leader in satellite telecommunications, and in the growing commercial applications of space.

At the Council of Ministers in Lucerne, Switzerland, in December 2016, the UK pledged €319 million over the next four years to telecommunications projects with industry through ARTES, including partnerships with businesses on innovative telecoms services.

One of those partnerships, with UK company Inmarsat, saw €31 million invested in IRIS, which uses satellite communications to enable safer air traffic control across Europe while reducing CO2 emissions and airline costs.

Another €60 million was for developing the commercial use of space data through Integrated Applications. UK Space Agency funding will connect businesses across the economy with solutions for common problems that could benefit from the unique vantage point of space. UK companies have used IAP funding to develop telemedicine services to aircraft, to advise farmers on crop fertilization, and to guide energy providers to target waste collection in communities.

This investment ensures the UK remains at the forefront of new technologies and builds on the strength of the UK growing space industry.

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News story: UK Government invests in Scotland

The UK Government has announced that it has invested £300 million in an Edinburgh and South East of Scotland City Region Deal. This is the fourth UK City Deal in Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government, and will boost the economy of Edinburgh and the whole of South East Scotland for decades to come.

Today’s move brings UK Government investment in UK City Deals in Scotland so far to around £1 billion.

Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said:

The UK Government is investing £300 million in the Edinburgh and South East of Scotland City Region Deal, which will boost the economy of Edinburgh and the whole of South-East Scotland for decades to come. The Edinburgh deal will focus on the capital’s strengths of new technology, innovation and culture. It will make a real difference to the lives of people in the region, creating jobs and prosperity and driving investment.

The Edinburgh deal brings UK Government investment in UK City Deals in Scotland so far to around £1billion, and demonstrates clearly the value to Scotland’s economy of being part of a strong United Kingdom.

On Thursday [20 July] the UK Government announced the start of steel cutting on the Clyde for the new Royal Navy Type 26 Frigates – an historic milestone for the Royal Navy, UK Defence and Scottish shipbuilding, enabled through a £3.7bn contract signed with BAE Systems earlier this month.

The work to build the ships, which starts today, will secure approximately 1,700 skilled shipbuilding jobs in Scotland and 2,300 jobs throughout the supply chain across Britain until 2035.

Both of these demonstrate clearly the value to Scotland’s economy of being part of a strong United Kingdom.

The Edinburgh City Deal will focuses on maximising the economic value of new technology. It will use Edinburgh’s track record in innovation and new technology to build the sector, creating prosperity and jobs. The deal will include the creation of five new innovation hubs, including in robotics and space technologies.

Edinburgh’s world class universities are at the heart of this City Deal, with investment in cutting edge research in the technologies of the future at Heriot-Watt, Queen Margaret and Edinburgh Universities, exploring innovation in space, health sciences, agri-tech and food and drink.

It will also create a new Edinburgh concert hall, reaffirming the city as a global cultural leader, and reinforcing and building the contribution of culture to the city’s economy.

The UK Government investment in UK City Deals in Scotland has now topped more than £1 billion. Combined with other sources, this will unlock more than £4 billion of investment for Scottish cities and regions. That investment comes on top of a sound financial settlement for Scotland, plus an additional £1 billion in Barnett consequentials in the past year.

UK City Deals have a proven track record of delivering for Scotland, with successes in Glasgow, Inverness, and Aberdeen, showing the substantial economic benefits that this joint investment with the Scottish Government, local authorities and partners can bring. Tay Cities and Stirling city deals are currently under discussion, and the UK Government has announced its commitment to exploring a Borderlands deal. These demonstrate clearly the value to Scotland of being part of the Union.

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