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UK Exports to EU

Lord Lawson of Blaby asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): The information since 1988 relating to the European Union as presently constituted is given in the table:

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UK exports to the rest of the European Union(1)

YearPercentage of visible exports to EUPercentage of invisible exports to EUUK overall exports to EU as a percentage of total exports
1988553042
1989553142
1990583445
1991613648
1992603748
1993573948
1994573748

Pre-1988 estimates are not available.

(1) Source: October 1995 edition of the Office for National Statistics Economic Trends, revised estimates shown in the April 1996 edition.


MoD Property Disposals

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the reason why "the Defence Housing Executive... does not undertake property disposals" (WA 118, 4th June) is that it is not legally able to do so, and if so, how defence housing property disposals have been effected in the past.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): Property disposals on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, including housing, are normally dealt with by the Defence Estate Organisation (except for individual houses sold through the Services Discount Scheme).

Nuclear Weapon-free Zones

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the letter of 3rd May 1996 from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the United Nations Association may fairly be summarised as follows "Nuclear Free Zones are to be encouraged everywhere except in Europe"; and, if so, what is the reasoning behind the letter's propositions.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): We believe that nuclear weapon-free zones based on arrangements freely arrived at among the states in a given region enhance global and regional security. But NATO countries continue to believe that nuclear deterrence makes an essential contribution to preserving peace and stability in Europe.

France Telecom: Partial Privatisation

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they regard it as compatible with the obligations of European Union member states to

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    refrain from unauthorised national subsidies to commerce and industry that the French Government should maintain responsibility for the pensions of employees of France Telecom after the proposed partial privatisation of that business.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We agree that any continuing state involvement with France Telecom should be compatible with EU state aid and competition rules. We are therefore looking closely at the recently announced proposals for partial privatisation.

OSCE and Russian Actions in Chechnya

Lord Rea asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that the actions of the Russian armed forces in Chechnya, both before and after the recent cease-fire, in leading to the destruction of villages and the death of non-combatants contravene Article 4 of the Budapest Declaration of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); and if so what representations they will make directly to the Russian Government and via the OSCE to stop such actions forthwith.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Her Majesty's Government have consistently condemned any action which has led to civilian casualties or destruction of property in Chechnya. We will continue to remind the Russian authorities of their OSCE commitments and to support the OSCE Chairman in office's efforts to ensure that Russian military activities in Chechnya fully conform with the requirements of the code of conduct.

Lord Rea asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What part is the OSCE playing in the current negotiations between Russia and the Chechen resistance since the recent cease-fire, and what information they have on the progress of these negotiations.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The OSCE mission continues to play a crucial role. On 10th June two Protocols, one on the implementation of the ceasefire and local elections, the other on prisoner exchange, were signed by both parties in the presence of the OSCE Head of Mission, Tim Guldimann.

Chemical Weapons

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How is the development and manufacture of chemical weapons for "domestic riot control purposes", which are included as "Purposes Not Prohibited Under this Convention" in Article (9) of the Chemical Weapons Convention, to be distinguished from the development and manufacture of chemical weapons for purposes prohibited under the convention, and who is to be responsible for

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    making these distinctions, and whether international peacekeeping operations are included among the "Purposes Not Prohibited Under this Convention".

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the development and manufacture of any chemical weapons. The term "chemical weapons" includes toxic chemicals except those intended for purposes not prohibited by the convention, including "domestic riot control purposes". Provided that the types and quantities of chemicals used are consistent with the intended permitted purpose they are not prohibited under the convention. Each State Party is obliged to declare details of chemicals held for riot control purposes (commonly known as riot control agents). The convention establishes a verification mechanism to monitor States Parties' compliance with their obligations. The provisions include inspections of declared sites and investigations into allegations that riot control agents have been used in warfare. Inspections and investigations will be carried out by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The CWC prohibits the use of toxic chemicals as a method of warfare in international peacekeeping operations.

NATO Enlargement Costs

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they agree with the estimate of the Congressional Budget Office in Washington that the total cost of the enlargement of NATO could amount to something between 60 and 120 billion dollars over 15 years; and whether these figures include the increased defence expenditure which would be involved in NATO's responding to the defence measures which Russia has warned that it would initiate in response to NATO enlargement.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: It is impossible to predict accurately yet what the exact costs of NATO enlargement will be.

European Legislation Vetoed by UK

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list the pieces of proposed European legislation which require unanimity among the member states and against which the United Kingdom has used its veto since 21st May 1996.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: As a consequence of the policy of non-co-operation, we blocked the following measures in the period 21st May to 14th June:

Measures on which the UK has withheld agreement to date for BSE reasons

DateForum for agreementMeasure
22nd May 1996IGC Working GroupRequest for extra briefing meeting with EP
22nd May 1996CFSP--CoreuPresidency initiative on Mongolian election observers
CFSP--CoreuPresidency proposal for EU statement on detention of pro-democracy activists in Burma
23rd May 1996Signature of Insolvency Convention
23rd May 1996Civil Protection CouncilCommunity action programme
23rd May 1996Civil Protection CouncilCouncil Resolution on research
23rd May 1996Civil Protection CouncilCouncil Resolution on co-operation with CEEs
28th May 1996Development CouncilCouncil Conclusions on emergency aid, rehabilitation and long term development
28th May 1996Development CouncilCouncil Conclusions on operational co-ordination
28th May 1996Development CouncilCouncil Conclusions on decentralised co-operation
28th May 1996Development CouncilCouncil Conclusions on migration and development
28th May 1996Development CouncilCouncil Resolution on environmental impact of development projects
28th May 1996Development CouncilCouncil Decision on financial measures for Centre for Development of Industry
28th May 1996Development CouncilEU/Mexico negotiating mandate and political declaration
28th May 1996Development CouncilCouncil Decision on emergency travel document
28th May 1996Internal Market CouncilCouncil Resolution on legislative simplification
28th May 1996Internal Market CouncilCouncil resolution on administrative co-operation
28th May 1996Internal Market CouncilCouncil conclusions on accounting standards
28th May 1996Internal Market CouncilCouncil conclusion on European company statute
28th May 1996Internal Market CouncilCouncil decision on action programme for EU industry
28th May 1996CFSP--CoreuEU reply to UNGA resolution 50/75 (strengthening security and co-operation in Mediterranean)
28th May 1996CFSP--CoreuDemarche to Israeli authorities concerning blocking of EU activities and personnel in West Bank and Gaza
28th May 1996CFSP--CoreuDraft EU letters on Salman Rushdie
28th May 1996CFSP--CoreuCritical dialogue meeting on 19th June with Iran
28th May 1996Former Yugoslavia Working Group (CFSP)French proposal for a demarche in Skopje on FYROM participation in the PIC Working Group
30th-31st May 1996Political Committee (CFSP)Geographical directors (troika) visit to Beijing
3rd June 1996ECOFINDraft regulation protecting financial interests of Community
3rd June 1996ECOFINProposal on VAT on cut flowers
3rd June 1996ECOFINResponse to Hariri on request for Lebanon reconstruction assistance
3rd June 1996Social Affairs CouncilCouncil decision on Year against racism and xenophobia
3rd June 1996Social Affairs CouncilCouncil resolution on transferability of vocational training qualifications
3rd June 1996Social Affairs CouncilCouncil conclusions on demography
3rd June 1996Social Affairs CouncilRecommendation on balanced participation of men and women in decision making
3rd June 1996Heads of EU mission meeting Tel Aviv CFSP Proposed visit of Italian Foreign Minister to Israel on behalf of EU
3rd June 1996Working Group on external fisheries policyCompetences for FAO committee on Fisheries Trade
4th June 1996EU consuls, Bangkok--CFSPSending of aide memoire on prisoner transfers and related matters to Thai Justice Ministry
4th June 1996Coreu--CFSPFurther circulation of Presidency statement on elections in Albania
4th June 1996Coreu--CFSPEU approach to US concerning Liberia visa restrictions
4th June 1996Coreu--CFSPEU demarche on civil rights in Belarus
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilRecommendation on Trafficking in Works of Art
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilRecommendation on Fight against Counterfeiting
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilDraft 1997 budget of Europol
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilReport on 1995 Europol budget
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilJoint action on directory of counter terrorist competences
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilJoint action on drugs liaison officers
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilDecision on measures implementing Article K1 of the Treaty on European Union
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilJoint action on pre-frontier assistance and training assignments
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilRecommendation on combatting illegal employment
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilWork programme for Europol Drugs unit July-December 1996
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilResolution laying down priorities for co-operation in the field of justice and home affairs 1st July 1996-30th June 1998
4th June 1996Justice and Home Affairs CouncilCommon position on draft Hague Convention on Protection of Minors
5th June 1996CFSPPresidency discussion paper on IAEA 93+2 programme
5th June 1996CFSPDraft EU contribution to Nuclear suppliers group paper
8th-9th June 1996Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial ConferenceConference conclusions on dialogue on third country energy co-operation
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilEU declaration on Great Lakes (especially Burundi)
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilTACIS regulation
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilCommon position for EU/Syria Co-operation Council 10th June
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilCommon position for 10 EEA Council
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilCommon position/joint action on biological and chemical weapons
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilPolitical decision on resumption of aid to Niger
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilDecision on financial measures for Centre for Development of Industry
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilCouncil conclusions on Barcelona follow up
10th June 1996General Affairs Council6th VAT directive--derogation for Neisse Bridge
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilAdoption of common position on East Timor
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilJoint Declaration on political dialogue between EU and Andes Community
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilAssent to Commission decision on ECSC and Kazakhstan on trade in steel products
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilAppointment to Committee of the Regions
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilEEA joint committee--ALTENER programme: decision on co-operation
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilEU/Mexico negotiating mandate and political declaration
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilResponse to Hariri on request for Lebanon reconstruction assistance
10th June 1996General Affairs CouncilDecision on emergency travel document
10th June 1996Fisheries CouncilDecision on implementation of Community Action programme on competitiveness of industry
11th June 1996Culture CouncilCouncil Resolution on industrial co-operation with other regions and third countries
11th June 1996Culture CouncilCouncil Decision on ARIANNE Programme
11th June 1996Culture CouncilCouncil Decision on RAPHAEL Programme
11th June 1996Culture CouncilResolution on access to culture
11th June 1996Culture CouncilResolution on electronic publishing and libraries

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