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13. Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with Scottish Ministers concerning Scotland's application to hold the European Football Championships in 2008. 
Mr. Foulkes: My right hon. Friend and I have regular discussions with Scottish Ministers about a wide range of issues. A decision about whether formally to support a bid for the European Football Championships in 2008 is a matter in the first instance for the Scottish Executive.
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Government policy on these matters is set out in the Memorandum of Understanding, and the concordats on International Relations and Co-ordination of European Policy Issues, agreed between the Government and the devolved Administrations.
Mr. Foulkes: We are making good progress on child poverty but much remains to be done. Detailed information can be found in "Opportunity for All", and in the Scottish Executive's annual Social Justice Report, "A Scotland where everyone Matters".
23. Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she next plans to meet representatives of the Scottish Trades Union Congress to discuss legislation affecting trade unions; and what will be discussed. 
Mrs. Liddell: I have regular contact with representatives of the STUC to discuss a wide range of issues. The next such occasion is on 30 January when the STUC is meeting Scottish Members and others in Dover House to discuss a wide range of issues including trade union legislation. I hope my hon. Friends will attend.
18. Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs concerning the rural economy in Scotland. 
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EU Council; and if there will be participants from the Scottish Parliament in the UK delegation to the convention. 
Mr. Foulkes: There has been close and effective collaboration between the UK Government and the Scottish Executive to deal with the foot and mouth outbreak and its aftermath. Support for rural enterprises in Scotland is primarily the responsibility of the Scottish Executive.
Mrs. Liddell: Latest figures show that employment in Scotland stands at 2.382 million, at around its highest level since 1960. The number of people in work from August to October 2001 fell by 9,000 over the quarter but was up by 3,000 on the same period a year earlier.
Mrs. Liddell: There are currently 35 Scotland Office staff in Dover House. Thirty-one staff are on loan to the Scotland Office from the Scottish Executive; one member of staff is on secondment from the House of Lords and there are three temporary staff. There are also 10 staff employed by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, who are currently located in Dover House on a temporary basis; and five staff employed by Scottish Development International.
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Mrs. Liddell: Many individuals in Scotland and abroad have expressed an interest in promoting a message of a modern and dynamic Scotland. My aim is to enable the largest possible number of Scotland's friends around the world to promote this message to Scotland's benefit.
27. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Advocate-General, pursuant to her answer of 4 December 2001, Official Report, column 153, on the then Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill, if she has passed on the concerns of the hon. Member for Linlithgow to her right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. 
The Advocate-General: Following my answer of 4 December, I received from my hon. Friend the letter from Douglas Connell dated 30 November. Mr. Connell's letter was forwarded to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary who has now replied directly to my hon Friend, on 13 December.
The Advocate-General: The Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001 is the responsibility of the Department of Health. There was appropriate consultation between UK Government officials, including lawyers in my Office, and the Scottish Executive before it was enacted.
48. Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the President of the Council if he will bring forward proposals to the Modernisation Committee to improve the effectiveness of Standing Committees in scrutinising Bills. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: My right hon. Friend has already put forward an extensive programme of reform. Proposals for better pre-legislative scrutiny should provide more material for Standing Committees to use. However, I am sure the Modernisation Committee would be interested in any proposals to improve the effectiveness of Standing Committees.
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