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European Movement: European Commission Grant

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Commission publishes details on the subsidies which it disburses in its annual report on the beneficiaries of part A Commission grants. This report is freely available via the Internet website of the Commission.

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Manufacturing Employment since 1995

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the total number of people employed in manufacturing industry in the United Kingdom in December 1995 and in December of each following year; and what estimates of employment in manufacturing industry have been made for the period covered by the latest forecasts. [HL409]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: A monthly series for employee jobs and a quarterly series for workforce jobs in the manufacturing industries are published in Labour Market Trends (tables B12 and B18 respectively), copies of which are held in the House of Lords Library, and in Statbase on the ONS website www.statistics.gov.uk. Workforce jobs include employee jobs, self-employment jobs and government supported trainees. In line with the convention adopted by previous administrations, the Government do not publish forecasts for employment and unemployment.

Congo: Support for National Dialogue

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What further assistance they will give to the special facilitator, United Nations staff and others concerned in the internal dialogue in the Congo.[HL432]

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: We are already providing financial support and an expert to the facilitator of the national dialogue and will consider additional funding requests from all parties.

Amsterdam Treaty: Enhanced Co-operation Measures

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What changes have been made at Nice to the Amsterdam Treaty's Provisions for "enhanced co-operation", and in particular whether under Clause G of the General Principles on Enhanced Co-operation, while a member of the Council may request that a matter be referred to the European Council, a final decision will be taken there by a qualified majority vote and not, as previously, by unanimity.[HL382]

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: At Nice we agreed changes to the enhanced co-operation arrangements which mean that enhanced co-operation will:


    be extended to Pillar II for the implementation of policies that have previously been agreed by unanimity. It will not cover defence;


    involve at least eight member states;


    not undermine the Single Market;

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    be open to all member states. A new duty is placed on the Commission to encourage the participation of as many member states as possible;


    respect the rights of non-participating member states;


    be used only as a last resort;


    not form part of the acquis;


    be funded by the participating member states.

In clause G the emergency brake procedure agreed at Amsterdam will be replaced in Pillars I and III with a lighter appeal mechanism, under which a member state may ask that any proposed enhanced co-operation be referred to the European Council before a decision is taken. Only if the European Council unanimously decides against the proposal is it overturned. Otherwise a decision to proceed will then be taken by the Council by QMV.

Small Arms and Light Weapons: UN Conference

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What preparations they are making for the United Nations conference in July 2001 on trade in small arms and light weapons; and whether they will consult British non-governmental organisations, in particular Saferworld, BASIC and International Alert, before deciding their position.[HL344]

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: Her Majesty's Government are actively engaged in preparations for the July 2001 UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. We attach great importance to a successful outcome to the conference, which we view as a milestone in international attempts to combat the proliferation of small arms. It should provide an ideal opportunity for nations and regional groups to unite in giving political impetus, under the UN, to their efforts in this area. Our aim is to agree political commitment to global norms, standards and a forward-looking conference action plan aimed at reducing the levels of illicit trade in-and destabilising accumulations of--small arms.

In pursuit of a successful outcome, the UK will hold a policy brainstorming seminar for around 30 countries at Lancaster House, London, on 13-14 February. This will look at possible conference outcomes and where participants assess the small arms debate ought to have progressed to in, say, five years. The Foreign Secretary plans to open the seminar.

Further in line with our commitment to the success of the conference, we are working in partnership with governments, business and the NGO community, including BASIC, Saferworld and International Alert through support for their Biting the Bullet project. This aims to facilitate debate, provide research, briefings and seminars and work closely with IANSA, the International Action Network on Small Arms.

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Vehicle Manufacture, Export and Import Statistics Since 1995

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the total output of motor cars and commercial vehicles made in the United Kingdom in each year since 1995; and what were the totals of United Kingdom exports and imports of such cars and vehicles in the same period.[HL333]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The following tables give numbers of motor cars and commercial vehicles produced in the UK, along with figures for both exports and imports.

Motor Cars

'000'sProductionExportsImports
19951,532,084768,8381,159,854
19961,686,134925,4031,257,963
19971,698,0011,025,5191,542,002
19981,748,2581,058,8211,553,707
19991,786,6231,159,3211,671,261
20001,629,609N/AN/A

Commercial Vehicles

'000'sProductionExportsImports
1995233,00168,125100,537
1996238,314147,87383,633
1997237,706150,030111,514
1998227,379116,156152,598
1999185,90570,567144,626
2000184,165N/AN/A

Source:

Office for National Statistics; Overseas Trade Statistics


Steel Manufacturing, Export and Import Statistics 1995

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the total output, in millions of tons, of United Kingdom steel in each year since 1995; and what were the totals of United Kingdom steel exports and imports in each year since 1995.[HL334]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The following table gives total deliveries of finished steel industry products by UK steel producers, along with figures for export and import.

Million tonnesTotal ExportsImports
Deliveries by UK steel producers
199516.18.56.7
199616.78.96.2
199717.29.16.5
199816.18.07.3
199915.17.56.8
200014.36.2(1)6.1(1)

(1) January-October 2000

Source: Annual Statistics 1999 and later figures (Iron and Steel Statistics Bureau);

Overseas Trade Statistics.

Deliveries by UK steel producers exclude products destined for further processing by other UK steel producers, to avoid double counting.The export and import figures include all deliveries of finished steel products, whether by (or to ) UK steel producers, steel stockholders or steel consuming industries.


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Water Fluoridation

Earl Baldwin of Bewdley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answers by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 17 January (WA 136), whether the terms of reference of the Medical Research Council's Working Group are (in part) "To provide advice on current scientific evidence regarding the health effects of water fluoridation"; and, if so, why they consider this task to be necessary given that the National Health Service Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at York has already provided such advice in the report of a systematic scientific review which they themselves commissioned; and[HL451]

    Further to the Written Answers by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 17 January (WA 136) which stated that they have asked the Medical Research Council (MRC) "to suggest how it might be possible to strengthen the evidence currently available" on water fluoridation, whether the terms of reference of the MRC's Working Group are (in part) "To consider whether further research in this area is required"; and, if so, how these two statements can be reconciled.[HL452]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The York report found that there was a lack of high quality research into the area of fluoride and health and the Government wish to remedy this shortcoming. The Department of Health has, therefore, asked the Medical Research Council (MRC) to assess what further research might be required.

We have provisionally agreed with the MRC that its terms of reference should be:


    (a) Provide advice on current scientific evidence regarding the health effects of water fluoridation;


    (b) Consider whether further research in this area is required to inform public health policy;


    (c) Report to the MRC Physiological Medicine and Infections Board and the MRC Health Services and Public Health Research Board;


    (d) Report to the Department of Health.

The MRC has let us know that the working group may wish to refine these terms of reference at its first meeting in February.

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