Members of Parliament often receive a large number of similar or identical e-mails on a particular policy topic or topics. David generally prefers to reply to constituents' correspondence directly and on an individual basis. However, in some cases, doing so is not practicable. Accordingly, this page provides a means whereby responses or statements on certain policy topics can easily and quickly be posted and read.
I have received many email regarding the ‘Online Harms White Paper’.
On the 8 April 2019, the Government published a White Paper which set out its proposals for making the internet a safer place for UK citizens. It is the belief of the Government that as the internet is integral to our everyday lives; being used to forge connections, share knowledge and spread opportunity in the UK and across the world. However, it should be recognised that the internet can also be used to circulate terrorist material, undermine civil discourse and society, spread disinformation and abuse individuals and groups. ... read more
I have received a substantial number of emails regarding the Trade Bill that is currently before Parliament.
In March 2019, the House of Lords passed an amendment which stipulated that, following our departure from the European Union, negotiations towards a free trade agreement may not commence until the Secretary of State has laid a draft negotiating mandate before the appropriately constituted committee. This would be approved by a resolution of that committee and a resolution of both Houses of Parliament. Amendment 12 would thus require MPs and Lords to approve all post-Brexit trade deals before they could be implemented. Currently, this Amendment is due to be voted on by the House of Commons, after it has been debated. ... read more
I have received numerous emails regarding animal experiments.
The United Kingdom has a long track record of being a world leader when it comes to animal welfare. In 1998, the UK was the first country to implement a ban on the use of animals in cosmetic testing and we have continued to share our knowledge and expertise in this area. In 2015, the Government implemented a similar ban on the testing of finished household products on animals, as well as a qualified ban on ingredients. As such, it is clear that successive UK Governments continue to make progress in this area with regards to the tightening of animal welfare regulations and the sharing of British expertise in how to maximise animal welfare in other countries. The UK has been instrumental in advising the Chinese government in finding alternative procedures in order to carry out cosmetic testing. ... read more
I have received a substantial number of emails regarding the UK leaving the EU on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, and the effect on the Welsh economy.
The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on WTO terms would present a fantastic opportunity for the Welsh economy. It must be stressed that the pessimistic view of the Welsh economy being fragile and highly dependent on the European Union is not an accurate reflection of the current state of affairs. Instead, the Welsh economy has continued to grow following the 2016 referendum result, despite the hyperbolic warnings that were issued by remain supporters during the referendum. ... read more
I have received a number of emails NHS pension debate, which took place on 2 April 2019.
To hear that NHS staff may seek to limit or reduce their NHS commitments is, of course, troubling. The Government has stated that it recognises pension tax considerations will contribute to decisions by some senior clinicians to retire early, or to reduce their NHS commitments. For those who wish to remain in the NHS pension scheme, it is recognised that the annual allowance can be a disincentive to take on additional work and responsibilities.
Therefore, at the request of the British Medical Association, the Government has extended the scope of the voluntary NHS “scheme pays” facility to cover the payment of tax charges from breaches of the tapered annual allowance. Alongside this, the facility has also been extended to cover tax charges of less than £2,000, which means that, from the 2017-18 tax year, a member can elect for the scheme to pay 100% of their annual allowance charge to HMRC on their behalf. ... read more
I have received numerous letters regarding the inclusion of decapod crustaceans in the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill.
The Government is committed to raising animal welfare standards once the United Kingdom has departed from the European Union, with the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill having two main objectives: the recognition of animal sentience in UK domestic law and the incorporation of animal welfare needs when formulating and implementing policies. It has been made clear by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) that there has never been any doubt that animal welfare policies formulated by the Government are grounded in the fact that animals are sentient beings. The UK already has some of the highest standards of animal welfare, with the Government desiring to make such standards even higher. ... read more
I have received numerous letters regarding the privatisation of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
The ownership of the majority of RBS shares by the Government is a result of a Labour government bailout, which injected a total of £45.5 billion into the bank between October 2008 and December 2009 in order to maintain financial stability at the height of the financial crisis. As a result, the UK Government became a majority shareholder of RBS and by December 2009, acquired a total economic ownership of 84.4% of the bank. On 4 August 2015, the Government began the process of selling shares, with government ownership of ordinary shares now standing at 62.4%. ... read more
I have received numerous letters regarding medical cannabis.
Cannabis is the most widely cultivated, trafficked and used illicit drug in the UK. It is currently illegal to use cannabis either for recreational or for medicinal purposes, and, in its raw form, it is not recognised as having any medicinal purposes.
I appreciate that there are people with chronic pain and debilitating illnesses who seek to alleviate their symptoms by using cannabis. Although such use is illicit, the Sentencing Council’s guidelines on drug offences identify such circumstances as a potential mitigating factor. ... read more
I have received numerous letters regarding the Draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill 2017.
The Government is committed to raising animal welfare standards once the United Kingdom has departed from the European Union, with the draft Bill having two main objectives: the recognition of animal sentience in UK domestic law and the incorporation of animal welfare needs when formulating and implementing policies. It has been made clear by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that there has never been any doubt that animal welfare policies formulated by the Government are grounded in the fact that animals are indeed sentient beings. The current draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill increases the maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty to five years in prison and, as stated, recognises animal sentience in UK domestic law. ... read more
I have received numerous letters regarding trophy hunting.
It is important we protect endangered animals across the world. I am encouraged that the UK Government is committed to conserving the world's wildlife.
The wildlife trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, whose approach is to ensure that the trade is conducted legally and sustainably, not necessarily to reduce or end it. At its most recent conference the UK played a key role in developing a proposal for enhanced global rules on hunting and trade. The resulting tightening of controls are a very positive step towards ensuring sustainability. ... read more
At the June 2017 General Election, David was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Clwyd West, with an increased vote share of 48.1%.