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Asylum Decisions in Europe

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Government's policy towards asylum issues in Europe is aimed at ensuring that those in genuine need of protection receive it, while those who are misusing asylum procedures in order to circumvent immigration controls are dealt with quickly and firmly. The Amsterdam Treaty requires measures to be adopted that establish minimum standards for the asylum process, including protection outside the 1951 convention on refugees. The United Kingdom will be in a position to decide whether or not to participate in such measures.

Blantyre House Prison

Baroness David asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: I refer the noble Baroness to the reply of my right honourable friend the Minister of State for the Home Department (Mr Boateng) in another place (House of Commons Official Report, col. 48W on 7 February).

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Asylum Seekers from Council of Europe Member States

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many citizens of member states of the Council of Europe have sought asylum within the United Kingdom during the last three years.[HL1277]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The available information is given in the table. Information regarding certain member states of the Council is not separately identifiable within the statistics.

Asylum applications (1) received in the United Kingdom, excluding dependants. 1997 to 1999, nationals of member states of the Council of Europe

199719981999
Albania4455601,310
Bulgaria54516580
Croatia1503351,780
Cyprus4959020
Czech Republic2405151,790
Estonia20115455
Georgia301570
Hungary**15
Latvia140520515
Lithuania1,0101,300615
Macedonia205090
Moldova2025180
Poland5651,5851,860
Romania6051,0151,985
Russia180185685
Slovakia29083570
Slovenia25155
Turkey1,4452,0152,850
Ukraine490370755

(1)Figures rounded to nearest 5, with '*' = 1 or 2.


Strategic Airlift Requirement

Lord Vivian asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many C170 large aircraft will be leased or purchased from the United States for United Kingdom strategic lift capability; and when they will be in service.[HL1067]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): I assume the noble Lord is referring to the C17 aircraft. We have not yet reached any decisions on the type of aircraft that will be procured to fulfil our strategic lift requirement. We are continuing to assess the proposals for both our short-term and long-term airlift requirements and hope to be in a position to make a decision in the early part of this year.

General Pinochet's Arrest: Effect on Exports to Chile

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they maintain that British exports to Chile have not been affected by the arrest of General

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    Pinochet, when Marconi Marine's Yarrow Yard has been excluded by the Chilean Navy from a £500 million order for Type 23 Frigates.[HL1171]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: I refer the noble Lord to the reply I gave him on 10 January 2000 (Official Report, col. WA 72).

FV430 Armoured Personnel Carriers

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the handbrake of the Army's FV430 range of armoured personnel carrier is: (a) separate from the vehicle's service braking and steering system; and (b) compliant with the requirements of the construction and use regulations; and if not, why not.[HL1198]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: For the purposes of construction and use regulation 16, the FV430 is considered to be a "Tracked Heavy Motor Car, first use before 1st January 1968".

The FV430 handbrake is not separate from the vehicle's service braking and steering system. The handbrake function is achieved by securing the tiller-actuated service braking and steering system in the ON position by means of a ratchet mechanism. This arrangement complies with regulation 16, schedule 3, number 16 in that the parking brake (hand brake) "is so designed and constructed that . . . It can set so, as in the case of track laying vehicle, to lock the tracks". However, schedule 3, number 7 requires that "the application of any means of operation of a braking system shall not affect or operate the pedal or hand lever of any other means of operation". In this respect FV430 is not compliant and is operated under the terms of an exemption (the Motor Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) General Order 1979 (SI 1979 No 1198), Part II, Article 6) which authorises the Secretary of State for Defence to use specified vehicles notwithstanding that such vehicles do not comply in all respects with the requirements of the construction and use regulations.

IMPACT

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the role of the Ministry of Defence's IMPACT data cell.[HL1199]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: IMPACT was the Industry and MoD Programme to Accelerate CALS (Continuous Acquisition and Life-Cycle Support) implementation Today. The purpose was to manage the introduction of electronic information exchange and sharing to support the acquisition process for defence equipment programmes. The IMPACT team comprised part-time members from both MoD and industry who were managed jointly by MoD and the UK CALS Industry Council (UKCIC).

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The programme originated in January 1996 from a MoD and UKCIC combined top-level seminar to discuss the way forward for defence procurement in the information age. The seminar led to agreement between MoD and UKCIC on six issues which needed to be taken forward. These were the procurement process and value for money; CALS in legacy projects; utilising information technology; standards; data protection; and data management.

A joint working group of three industry and three MoD personnel was established to progress the work. Each of the six issues above was examined in detail and the working group identified a number of common themes which ran through them. From these common themes a work plan was developed based upon seven individual projects.

With the introduction of Smart procurement, the IMPACT work took on a much broader perspective. Consequently, a full-time joint MoD and industry team, now called the Joint Enterprise Integration Task Force, has been established to manage the introduction of a secure shared data environment for the defence sector.

The programme of work is directed by a Joint CALS Steering Group comprising the Chief of Defence Procurement, Chief of Defence Logistics, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Equipment Capability) and three senior managers from the UK defence industry.

Landrovers: MoD Use in UK

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many Landrovers issued to Ministry of Defence units in the United Kingdom are (a) left-hand drive and (b) right-hand drive.[HL1200]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The number of Landrovers issued to Ministry of Defence units for use in the United Kingdom is 11,261, of which 1,091 are left-hand drive and 10,170 right-hand drive vehicles. An additional 53 left-hand drive vehicles are held in storage as part of the attrition fleet and would not normally be issued to UK mainland units.

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many accidents have involved Landrovers issued to Ministry of Defence units for use in the United Kingdom which are (a) left-hand drive and (b) right-hand drive.[HL1201]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean : The total number of accidents that have involved MoD Landrovers in the United Kingdom between 1 January 1999 and 31 December 1999 was 1,199, of which 91 were left-hand drive and 1,108 right-hand drive vehicles. As at 24 February 2000, a total of 11,261 Landrovers were issued to mainland UK units, of which 10,170 were right-hand drive and 1,091 were left-hand drive.

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Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the accident rate compared to distance travelled for Landrovers issued to Ministry of Defence units for use in the United Kingdom which are (a) left-hand drive; and (b) right-hand drive.[HL1202]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean : Based on a planned utilisation rate of 10,000 miles per Landrover vehicle per year, for the period 1 January 1999 to 31 December 1999 there was one accident per every 93,920 miles travelled. This equates to one accident per every 119,890 miles travelled for left-hand drive vehicles and one accident for every 91,787 miles travelled for right-hand drive vehicles.


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