Previous Section Index Home Page


Treaty of Canterbury

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with (i) the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, (b) Eurotunnel and (c) the French Government regarding Clause 33.3 of the Treaty of Canterbury. [51176]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: There is no Clause 33.3 of the Treaty of Canterbury. My hon. Friend may be referring to Clause 33.3 of the Channel Fixed Link Concession Agreement.

We are not aware of any discussions in recent years between Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers or officials and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Eurotunnel or the French Government regarding Clause 33.3 of the Concession Agreement, other than in the context of preparing a reply to this question.

Alois Brunner

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to the Syrian Government on the subject of Alois Brunner. [50899]

Mr. Fatchett: We have made no representations to the Syrian government on this matter.

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to assist the French Government to extradite Alois Brunner for crimes against humanity; and if he will make a statement on the whereabouts of Alois Brunner. [50898]

Mr. Doug Henderson: We have no record of any activity by the Government on the subject of Alois Brunner, nor evidence of his whereabouts.

Philippines

Sir Peter Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for how long those who have applied in the Philippines for settlement in the United Kingdom as the wife of a British citizen have had to wait on average for a decision in the last year. [51230]

Mr. Fatchett: In the last year, the average waiting time in Manila for an interview for a settlement visa has been 8 weeks. In almost all cases, a decision on the application is taken immediately following the interview and the applicant informed at the same time.

Indian Ocean Territories (Fishing)

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals he has for the protection of coral reefs around fishing grounds in the British Indian Ocean Territories. [49590]

20 Jul 1998 : Column: 398

Mr. Tony Lloyd: Administering the British Indian Ocean Territory's (BIOT) 200 mile Fisheries Conservation and Management Zone is the responsibility of the BIOT Government. It is alert to the need to provide protection for the coral reef fishery. May I refer my hon. Friend to the oral statement made to the House by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development on 1 July 1997, Official Report, columns 324-30.

Mexico

Mr. Howard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the timetable for discussions on free trade between Mexico and the EU. [51305]

Mr. Doug Henderson: We strongly support the strengthening of EU/Mexico relations, including the liberalisation of trade in goods and services. As EU Presidency, we secured EU agreement to Negotiating Directives which clear the path for formal negotiations with Mexico. The UK will be looking for a package that is fully compatible with WTO rules and offers the EU similar access to the Mexican market as that already given to Mexico's NAFTA partners, the US and Canada. We expect negotiations to begin after the Summer break when the Mexicans have had time to consider EU proposals.

Correspondence

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Woking regarding Kenny Richey. [51489]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: I am sorry that a substantive reply to the hon. Member's letter to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary of 25 June has been delayed. A full reply was sent to him on 17 July.

Europe Houses

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the countries in which Europe Houses operate; what are the criteria for the establishment of a Europe House; and what discussions are taking place on the establishment of a Europe House in the United Kingdom. [46069]

Mr. Doug Henderson: The International Federation of Europe Houses (FIME) is an association of over 100 education and information centres in 24 European countries, including the UK. Questions about the criteria for membership of FIME should be addressed to them.

Multilateral Agreement on Investment

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the implications for human rights of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment. [50763]

Mr. Tony Lloyd: The purpose of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) is to prevent discrimination against investors on the grounds of their nationality. The Government are pressing for clauses in the MAI which will prevent countries attracting specific investments by lowering environment and labour

20 Jul 1998 : Column: 399

standards. We do not believe that the MAI will have any adverse effect on human rights, nor will it prevent the Government from pursuing their human rights agenda.

Gibraltar

Mr. Howard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent developments there have been in discussions between Gibraltar and Spain regarding the use of Gibraltar airport; and if he will make a statement. [50676]

Mr. Doug Henderson [holding answer 15 July 1998:] We are not aware of any recent discussions between the Government of Gibraltar and the Spanish authorities regarding the use of Gibraltar airport. We believe that development of Gibraltar airport would bring significant economic benefits for Gibraltar and Spain. We would support any proposal on which all parties could agree.

Pakistan and India

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what sanctions have been applied by (a) the UK, (b) the EU and (c) the G8 to (i) Pakistan and (ii) India following their detonation of nuclear devices; and if he will make a statement. [50848]

Mr. Fatchett: G8 countries meeting in London on 12 June agreed to work for a postponement in the consideration of loans to India and Pakistan in the World Bank and other International Financial Institutions, except where these loans were to meet basic human needs.

The EU adopted a similar policy on IFI loans on 8 June. The General Affairs Council also asked the Commission to consider, in a forthcoming review, India and Pakistan's eligibility to benefit from the Community's Generalised System of Preferences in the light of their tests. The General Affairs Council stated that the European Union would take all necessary measures should India and Pakistan not take early steps to accede to the relevant international non-proliferation treaties.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary outlined the measures that the UK took in response to the tests in his statement to the House on 1 June 1998, Official Report, columns 21-22. Additional safeguards to prevent proliferation activities by India and Pakistan in the UK were announced to the House by the Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Central (Mr. Lloyd) on 10 July 1998, Official Report, columns 687-88.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Business Innovation

Mr. Redwood: To ask the President of the Board of Trade for what reasons the Business Link Innovation Credit Scheme was cancelled; and what initiatives have replaced it. [48339]

Mrs. Beckett [holding answer 2 July 1998]: The Innovation Credit scheme was discontinued at the end of March 1998 as part of a series of measures to simplify funding for Business Links, by reducing the number of separate programme budgets. Business Links are

20 Jul 1998 : Column: 400

sufficiently experienced to decide for themselves at local level whether a voucher-based scheme of this sort is a priority use of funds.

Gender Impact Assessments

Jackie Ballard: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to the answer of 24 June 1998, Official Report, columns 557-58, prior to 18 May, what mechanisms were used to determine how legislation passed in the current session would affect women; what consultation she had with women's organisations; and if she will make a statement. [49091]

Mrs. Beckett: Guidance on policy appraisal for equal treatment has been available in this Department since 1992.

Within the Department we are making increasing use of consultation, research projects and disaggregated statistics to identify the impact of policy on women. For example, in developing the proposals on maternity and parental rights in the White Paper, "Fairness at Work", we consulted key stakeholders including representatives of women's interests.

Similarly, the Low Pay Commission's recommendations for the national minimum wage, which the Government have accepted subject to consultation on the practicalities of implementation, were produced following extensive consultation, including with the Equal Opportunities Commission and women's organisations.


Next Section Index Home Page