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Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the position Her Majesty's Government will take on the EU Cosmetics Directive at second reading and conciliation in the European Parliament. 
Mr. Wilson: At the Internal Market Consumers and Tourism Council on 26 November 2001 the UK voted in favour of the Common Position text. The Common Position text includes a marketing ban linked to Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) accepted and published alternatives to animal tests. The text also contains a full test ban for finished cosmetic products and a testing ban on ingredients once internationally validated alternatives to animal testing are available. The UK will enter conciliation discussions from this position. The Government's objective is to encourage the adoption of a text which takes account of the European Parliament's concerns in relation to animal welfare, and which is both consistent with our WTO obligations and designed to withstand challenges within the WTO.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what reasons Her Majesty's Government voted against (a) a complete marketing ban on new animal-tested cosmetics and (b) a full ban on animal testing for cosmetics in the EU at the Council of Ministers; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Wilson: The reasons why the Government voted against (a) a complete marketing ban on new animal-tested cosmetics and (b) a full ban on animal testing for cosmetics in the EU in favour of the Council Common position text were set out by my hon. Friend the Minister for Competition, Consumers and Markets during the course of the debate in European Standing Committee C held on 13 March and published in the Parliamentary Debates Official Report of the same date. The Government's objective is to encourage the adoption of a text which takes account of the European Parliament's concerns in relation to animal welfare, and which is both consistent with our WTO obligations and designed to withstand challenges within the WTO.
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Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 22 July 2002]: Under the Small Business Service Gateway programme, small businesses are able to access business support services and advice via a number of channelsby calling the Business Link National Enquiry Line on 0845 600 9 006; by logging on to the www.businesslink.org website; or by directly contacting their local Business Link. These channels and the supporting IT systems and infrastructure became operational from April 2001 and are delivered collectively under a single managed service contract.
The operating costs for the Business Link National Enquiry Line are part of the overall costs of the SBS Gateway programme. In the first year these consisted of a service charge of £3.75 million together with variable costs of approximately £770,000. Business Link Enquiry Service costs cannot be disaggregated from these figures.
Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 22 July 2002]: From April 2001 the number of telephone enquiries has run at an average of 4,860 per month. From April 2002 with the introduction of the automated call routing technology monthly volumes are now averaging 4,980. The website www.businesslink.org receives 100,000150,000 visits each month from more than 30,000 individuals. An average of 356 email enquiries per month are also received.
Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action she is taking to secure the continuation of the Strategic Training for Apparel and Textiles programme after June 2002. 
Stephen Timms [holding answer 24 July 2002]: The Strategic Training for Apparel and Textiles (STAT) programme offers financial support to companies in the textiles and clothing sectors towards the costs of training in support of strategic business change and is currently being funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.
I am aware of a number of expressions of support from the industry for the programme to continue and the Department is currently in discussion with the Department for Education and Skills, which now has lead responsibility for training of the employed, to consider the case for a follow on programme.
Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assistance has been given to the textile and clothing industry since 1997; what measures are in place to help the textile and clothing industry develop faster
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and more environmentally-friendly techniques; and what proposals her Department has to support the exports of the textiles and clothing industry's products. 
Stephen Timms: The Government has provided almost £83 million of financial assistance to the UK textiles and clothing industry since May 1997, devoted to capital investment, innovation, exports, design and marketing, e-commerce, supply chain management, technical textiles and training and development. A key element of this assistance has been support for a Textiles and Clothing Industry Forum Adaptation programme, designed to improve the speed, efficiency and quality of the UK textile and clothing supply chain.
The UK textiles and clothing industry has already capitalised on the DTI's BIO-WISE programme which encourages companies to exploit the environmental benefits of biotechnology and also the Envirowise programme which provides practical environmental advice to businesses, focusing on resource efficiency and clean technology measures. In collaboration with CBWT, (the Confederation of British Wool Textiles), DTI is supporting a project to predict the effect of textile chemicals on the aquatic environment aimed at reducing effluent emissions at source.
Textile and clothing companies are eligible for the full range of export advice and assistance from Trade Partners UK, including assistance under the Support for Exhibitions and Seminars Abroad (SESA) scheme. This scheme helps them attend and exhibit at key overseas trade fairs and exhibitions. The value of support for clothing and textiles events under the SESA scheme in 200102 was £3,740,732.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry who will be responsible for the end-of-life vehicles from 2007 for cars that have (a) been stolen in foreign countries and imported into the UK where they are sold through the second hand market and (b) brought into the UK as grey imports; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Wilson: Final decisions have not yet been taken on the precise nature of the arrangements which will be introduced to implement the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive in the period from 2007. Those arrangements will need to deal properly with the totality of the vehicle waste stream in accordance with the terms of the Directive.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to increase the (a) number and (b) capacity of centres that can be registered as approved to treat vehicles according to the End-of-Life Vehicle Directive; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Wilson: My right hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment intends to publish for consultation later in the year draft regulations relating to Article 6 of the Directive. These will set out a regime for operators to acquire the necessary permits to carry out treatment of end-of-life vehicles, and will transpose the requirements of Annex I of the Directive into national law.
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In time, only facilities permitted under this regime will be able to treat end-of-life vehicles and issue the "Certificates of Destruction" required by the Directive. As this network of facilities develops, we shall monitor closely its ability to deal properly with all end-of-life vehicles arising in the UK.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the location ban clause in the European Commission's proposal for motor vehicle block exemption for motor vehicle distribution. 
Mr. Wilson: The European Commission adopted a new cars block exemption regulation on 17 July. The regulation will come into force on 1 October this year, but with a transitional period of one year for all provisions except that on the location clause ban. The introduction of this provision has been delayed until 1 October 2005.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on progress with the European Commission's proposals for a new motor vehicle block exemption for motor vehicle distribution. 
Mr. Wilson: The European Commission agreed a new block exemption for the sale of new cars and car servicing on Wednesday, 17 July. The new block exemption will replace the existing one, which is due to expire on 30 September this year, but will be subject to transitional arrangements.
The Government has welcomed this improvement on the current regime. The reform should mean more choice and fairer prices for consumers, and greater competition and innovation in both the retail and after-sales sectors. The new block exemption is also good for business, with dealers being freer to determine how they run their businesses.
While we very much welcome the changes on new car sales and on car servicing and repair, the delay in the introduction of the freedom for dealers to open in new locations, which will not come into effect until 2005, is disappointing. We would have liked this to happen sooner, as we made clear to the Commission. Nevertheless, we welcome the fact that it will happen automatically in 2005, without a further review.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what reason an explanatory memorandum on the new block exemption in relation to motor vehicle distribution was not produced before it was adopted by the Commission. 
Mr. Wilson: The motor vehicle block exemption is a European Commission regulation, not a Council of Ministers regulation. The Scrutiny Committees do not routinely scrutinise Commission measures, so documents relating to proposals for Commission legislation are not automatically deposited, and Departments are not expected to produce explanatory memoranda in every case. In this particular case, the Chairman of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Select Committee requested an explanatory memorandum on 3 July, and this was submitted to the Committee on 10 July.
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