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Harriett Baldwin questions Foreign Affairs Committee on World Cup report

14th June 2018

Harriett Baldwin questions the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee on the Committee’s report into preparations for World Cup 2018 in Russia.

Foreign Office Minister Harriett Baldwin
May I add my very best wishes to the England team? In the format of these proceedings, I will ask some questions on this timely and excellent report.

Can I confirm that the Select Committee have been informed that Russia recently issued temporary visas for UK consular and liaison staff and UK police officers, which means that British embassy officials and UK police will be in every city in which England play? Additional staff will be based in Gdansk, Riga and Vilnius, where some British fans will be based.

Does the Chair of the Committee acknowledge the fact that there will be 24-hour assistance for fans travelling from the UK, from the British embassy in Moscow or the Foreign Office switchboard in London? Does he agree that the “Be on the Ball” website has been updated to reflect his Committee’s recommendations, and that it is a very informative source of detailed information for anyone thinking of travelling to Russia? I hope he will join me in urging colleagues to point any constituents who are thinking of travelling to Russia to that website.

Finally, I encourage all Members who are interested in this topic and have constituents who are travelling to Russia to acknowledge that since we last publicised the number of people who have signed up to Twitter travel alerts, it has increased substantially to more than 11,000 people? That is the best way to get regular updated advice. We continue to believe that about 10,000 British nationals will travel to Russia for the World cup. Will the Chair join me in repeating the recommendation that people sign up to that, and also do not forget to buy their travel insurance?

Tom Tugendhat
The Minister has made some extremely valid points. The fundamental point she makes is that it is not just up to the FCO. Everybody has an individual responsibility to make sure they are plugged into the systems being offered by Her Majesty’s Government, and it is essential to do that in advance. The first thing to do is to register for travel advice alerts and check the information available on the “Be on the Ball” website.


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