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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 15 January 2001

PRIME MINISTER

Golden Jubilee

Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Prime Minister what plans there are to commemorate the 50 anniversary of the accession and coronation of Her Majesty the Queen. [144839]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for High Peak (Mr. Levitt) on 23 November 2000, Official Report, columns 294-95W.

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what categories of submissions from civil servants are submitted to special advisers before being seen by Ministers; [143823]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 10 January 2001]: Special Advisers have access to material produced by permanent civil servants in accordance with paragraph 14e of the "Model Contract for Special Advisers".

Correspondence

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Prime Minister what contact officials in his Office have had with the media concerning correspondence from the right hon. Member for South-West Surrey regarding a constituent. [144919]

The Prime Minister: None.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Mr. Brady: To ask the Prime Minister what steps he is taking to promote awareness of Holocaust Memorial Day. [145410]

The Prime Minister: A national ceremony will be held in London on the evening of Saturday 27 January and will be attended by a wide audience including survivors, senior public figures, community representatives and students. The event is being produced and televised live by the BBC guided by the Home Office-led Holocaust Memorial Day Steering Roup. The BBC has plans to publicise this event in the run up to the day.

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The Government's programme for promoting awareness of the Holocaust Memorial Day also includes:


Telephone Tapping

Mr. Galloway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the Government's policy in respect of the tapping of telephones of hon. Members. [144972]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to our hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) on 30 October 1997, Official Report, column 861W.

COE/WEU

Helen Jones: To ask the Prime Minister if he will announce the full composition of the United Kingdom delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Western European Union. [145830]

The Prime Minister: The United Kingdom delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is as follows:






























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Ministerial Visits

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 18 December 2000, Official Report, column 14W, what action he will take in respect of the visits by the hon. Member for Rossendale and Darwen (Janet Anderson) and the right hon. Member for Dulwich and West Norwood (Ms Jowell) to the constituency of the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire without notifying the right hon. Member of their visit to his constituency. [144432]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 8 January 2001]: The right hon. Member's question has been drawn to the attention of the Ministers concerned.

Nice Council

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister if (i) policy planning, (ii) strategic lift, (iii) peacekeeping and (iv) J2 matters are included in clause J exemptions from Reinforced Co-operation agreed at Nice. [144634]

Mr. Vaz: I have been asked to reply.

Article J of the Treaty of Nice provides that enhanced co-operation for matters falling within the Common Foreign and Security Policy shall be limited to the implementation of a joint action or a common position.

Article J further provides that all questions with military or defence implications shall be excluded from the provisions for enhanced co-operation in common foreign and security policy.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the impact on NATO of Reinforced Co-operation, Clause I(2), as agreed at Nice. [144637]

Mr. Vaz: I have been asked to reply.

Clause J of the draft Treaty of Nice makes it clear that the provisions of the draft Treaty on enhanced co-operation in the field of common foreign and security policy shall not apply to matters having military or defence implications. Article I(2) therefore does not apply to questions with military implications.

Nice Presidency Conclusions

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will deposit in the Library a copy of the letters from Nice of the (i) Spanish and (ii) Italian Prime Ministers on operational co-operation in controlling the EU external borders, referred to in Presidency conclusion section 49. [144582]

Mr. Vaz: I have been asked to reply.

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The Prime Ministers of Italy and Spain wrote a joint letter to President Chirac, President-In-Office of the European Council, on 7 December 2000. A copy of the letter has been deposited in the Library.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister to which two documents section 50 of the Nice Presidency Conclusions refers. [144638]

Mr. Vaz: I have been asked to reply.

The two documents referred to in paragraph 50 of the Nice Conclusions are:


This document was deposited for Parliamentary scrutiny on 4 December 2000.


This document was deposited for Parliamentary scrutiny on 12 January 2001.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his position on including a declaration on Sport in the Presidency Conclusions of Nice, indicating the Treaty base for such a declaration. [144642]

Kate Hoey: I have been asked to reply.

The Government welcomed the inclusion of a declaration on Sport in the Presidency Conclusions at Nice as it is right to join with other member states in acknowledging the special nature of sport in modern society. The declaration makes it clear that sport should retain its independence and that the organisation of support for sport is a matter for member states and governing bodies of sport.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister what manner of directive is planned to promote gender equality in areas other than employment and professional life, as set out in Annex I, V(c) of the Nice Presidency Conclusions. [144640]

Ms Jowell: I have been asked to reply.

The European Commission has as yet given no indication of what it is considering proposing under this heading. As usual, Ministers in the Council will scrutinise the proposals carefully when they are made. Any directive under Article 13 requires the unanimity of member states.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the planned (i) budget and (ii) roles of the (a) European Monitoring Centre on Change, (b) European Institute for Gender Issues and (c) Gender Expert network, referred to in the Nice Presidency Conclusions. [144641]

Ms Jowell: I have been asked to reply.

The European Commission has not yet indicated what the suggested remit and budget will be for the European Monitoring Centre on Change, the European Institute for Gender Issues or the experts' network. When formal proposals are made, the Council of Ministers will scrutinise them carefully.

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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the increase of state aid permissible under the Nice Treaty. [144632]

Mr. Caborn: I have been asked to reply.

The Nice Treaty did not make any changes to the rules on state aid which increase permissible aid. The recent trend in state aid has been downwards.


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