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Energy Review

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on how he plans to implement the recommendations in the report of the Performance and Innovation Unit on United Kingdom energy objectives; and if he will place a copy of the report in the Library. [26845]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Ceredigion (Mr. Thomas) on 9 January 2002, Official Report, column 816W.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Prime Minister when the Energy Review is expected to report. [26785]

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The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Ceredigion (Mr. Thomas) on 9 January 2002, Official Report, column 816W.

International Criminal Court

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 9 January 2002, how often the issue of the proposed introduction of legal measures on ratification of the statute of the International Criminal Court has been discussed with Secretary of State Powell. [27009]

The Prime Minister: The then Foreign Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook), discussed this issue with Secretary of State Powell early last year. Together with our EU partners we have since sent two written demarches about this to Secretary of State Powell.

Matthew Elson

Mrs. May: To ask the Prime Minister what involvement he and his officials had in the appointment of Matthew Elson as transport adviser within the No. 10 Policy Unit. [26853]

The Prime Minister: Matthew Elson has joined No. 10 as a special adviser. He was appointed by me under the terms and conditions set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers, and in line with the requirements of paragraph 50 of the Ministerial Code.


Justice and Home Affairs Council

Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the outcome was of the Justice and Home Affairs Council held on 6 and 7 December 2001; what the Government's position was on the issues discussed, including its voting record; and if he will make a statement. [27434]

Angela Eagle: I represented the United Kingdom at the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Brussels on 6 and 7 December 2001.

A points:

The A points were approved as in document 14899/01 (a copy of which has been placed in the Library).

Framework Decision on a European Arrest Warrant:

Fourteen member states and the Commission could agree to a revised Presidency compromise package, the principal elements of which were a three-year penalty threshold for the offences on the existing list of crimes for which dual criminality would be abolished, a time- limited opt out for one member state in relation to extradition of own nationals and a territoriality clause allowing a member state to refuse extradition where the offence was committed on its own territory. A council statement would broadly define the offences of racism and xenophobia, swindling, sabotage, racketeering and extortion. One member state was unable to accept the final compromise package and argued that the warrant should apply only to cases of terrorism and the most serious crimes on the list.

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Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism:

Agreement was reached subject to parliamentary scrutiny reserves from three member states.

Council Decision Establishing Eurojust:

The Council decision establishing Eurojust was agreed subject to parliamentary scrutiny reserves from four member states. National members were to be appointed within two months of the publication of the Council decision in the Official Journal.

Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography:

Fourteen member states could agree to the definitions of offences of children and child pornography contained in the framework decision; one member state disagreed, arguing that the exemptions from criminal liability for offences in relation in return to virtual pornography should be deleted. With the support of several other member states, I said the United Kingdom would wish to make a declaration stating that the United Kingdom would continue to take tough action against both real and virtual pornographic images of children.

Harmonisation of Penalties:

There was general agreement to pursue the Presidency's proposal for the future approximation of criminal law penalties. This would comprise a range of penalties defined by the periods of maximum imprisonment for each category of offence. Level one would require penalties which would permit extradition, level two would require a penalty attracting not less than a maximum period of one to five years' imprisonment, level three would attract five to 10 years' and level four would be 10 years' imprisonment and above.

Parental Responsibility:

Discussion of this item was postponed.

The Fight Against Terrorism:

The Director of Europol reported on increased counter-terrorist activity at Europol since 11 September. He noted member states' increased willingness to share information with Europol.

Terrorism Roadmap:

The Presidency reported that important progress had been made in the follow-up to the action agreed at the JHA Council on 20 September. One member state proposed a number of additional measures for inclusion in the roadmap; these would be discussed further in the appropriate working group.

Asylum Procedures Directive: Draft Council Conclusions:

The council held a debate on the Presidency text, which focused on appeal rights. I argued for swift agreement on the package of asylum directives currently under negotiation and added that asylum procedures should be rapid and fair but should not allow multiple opportunities for appeal. The Presidency noted a broad consensus on the way forward, and agreed to amend its text in the light of member states' comments.

European Management Concept on Border control:

There was broad support for a Presidency proposal to strengthen the EU's external frontier and for an ongoing feasibility study for a European Border Guard. Several delegations saw no need for a supranational force but there was consensus on improved training and co-operation. The Commission said that it would be issuing a communication on external frontiers early in 2002.

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Provisions for Applying Eurodac:

One member state still had difficulties with the technical specifications in the draft implementing rules. The Presidency urged a swift resolution to this problem.

Common Visa List (CVL)—Romania:

The council regulation placing Romania on the CVL exempt list from 1 January 2002 was agreed, with a declaration on continued monitoring of all the candidate countries.

Address by United States (US) Secretary of State:

The council was addressed by Colin Powell, US Secretary of State. He praised the EU's solidarity with the US since 11 September and welcomed the progress made on law enforcement co-operation. He urged a swift resolution to the issue of exchange of data for law enforcement purposes. The US/Europol agreement was signed. The Presidency and the Commission summarised EU achievements on counter-terrorism since 11 September and welcomed the enhanced co-operation with the US.

Mixed Committee with Iceland and Norway

SIS 11—new functions:

Iceland, chairing the Mixed Committee session at Ministerial level, introduced the Presidency's paper on future Schengen Information System (SIS) requirements and noted that the council's discussion would serve as political guidance for the development of SIS 11. The Commission emphasised the importance of early agreement, as any new features would need to be included in its feasibility study, to be launched in February 2002. There was general agreement to the principle of using SIS data for a wider range of purposes and to a study on the possibility of exchanging information on persons precluded from leaving the Schengen area.

Other Visa and Consular Issues:

There was agreement in principle to the draft regulations on a uniform visa format and form for affixing vias, subject to necessary procedures being completed in the European and national Parliaments. The council decision on Schengen visa fees also received general endorsement. The Presidency introduced its report on improving local consular co-operation, through measures such as a shared database of visa applications and joint visa offices.

Metropolitan Police Recruitment

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Metropolitan police officers have been recruited from (a) Surrey police and (b) service at Epsom police station in each of the last three years. [24118]

Mr. Denham: The information is as follows:

Surrey police—transfers to the Metropolitan police

Year Number of officers transferring in total from Surrey policeNumber of Epsom based officers who transferred to the Metropolitan police(27)
2001–02(28) 292

(27) Before 1 April 2000 Epsom police station was part of the Metropolitan police service. It is therefore only possible to show the number of Surrey police officers who were based at Epsom and transferred to the Metropolitan police service from 1 April 2000.

(28) To 18 December 2001.

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These figures do not include Metropolitan police service (MPS) officers who were seconded to Surrey police following the boundary changes of 1 April 2000 and have since returned to the MPS.

Following the boundary changes on 1 April 2000, 249 MPS officers were seconded to the Surrey police of whom 63 were posted to Epsom police station. Since then 209 officers have returned to the MPS of whom 56 were based at Epsom.

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