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Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: The European Union seeks guaranteed access to NATO's planning capabilities, so that NATO planners can contribute to the EU's examination of strategic military options and so that NATO can provide operational planning for an EU-led operation using NATO assets and capabilities. This is set out in Section (1) of the appendix to Annex VII. The EU is not seeking guaranteed access to any other NATO assets and capabilities. NATO intends to put in place arrangements to provide for the presumption of availability of other NATO capabilities and common assets. This means NATO will in principle be ready to provide such support, but will decide case-by-case on the release of assets for an EU-led operation.
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: As a NATO member, the US routinely participates in all alliance discussions on security threats faced by its member countries and in formulating responses to those threats.
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: The Prime Minister and President Bush agreed that we should work to obstruct and deter new threats resulting from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. A key element of this strategy would be to continue nuclear arms reductions where possible and strengthened WMD and missile proliferation controls and counter-proliferation measures. The Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State Colin Powell agreed last month to establish a counter-proliferation task force to take forward the proliferation aspects of this work.
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: Mr Bryant has been tried, convicted and sentenced in accordance with Moroccan law. We have to respect the laws and sentences of other Sovereign States. We have no basis in international law to make representations on Mr Bryant's behalf because the sentence he received under Moroccan law exceeds the sentence he may have received if he had been tried under British Law.
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: Mr Bryant is due for release on 3 March 2003. Before his release he must pay court fines of DH300,00.00 (about £19,354). If he cannot pay the fines he will have to serve additional time in prison. The amount of extra time would be for the court to decide.
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: The UK and Moroccan Governments hope to be able to sign and ratify a bilateral prison transfer agreement soon. Once this has been done, Mr Bryant will be able to apply to serve the remainder of his sentence in the UK.
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: The Commonwealth Secretariat is considering the terms of reference for the team. The Foreign Secretary has urged the Commonwealth Secretary General to broaden the team's mandate from land reform to include wider areas of international concern.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): I understand that, having being refused leave to appeal by the Court of Appeal, Sussex Police Authority sought leave to appeal from the House of Lords. This was refused on 2 November 2000. No further appeal in the proceedings is possible.
As a result of the judgment in this case, it is clear that a police officer's "ordinary duties" under the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 (as amended) should be interpreted to include operational duties. It is likely that this interpretation will result in more officers being certified to be permanently disabled from performing the ordinary duties of a police officer.
Under the Pensions Regulations it is, however, a matter for the police authority to decide whether or not an officer should be retired on health grounds. If there is, in the view of the police authority, a sufficient range of duties that an officer is capable of undertaking there is no requirement for it to set a date for retirement. The Court of Appeal made this point in its judgment.
It would, however, be more satisfactory if the current regulations were to be amended so that it is clear in future that a police officer is not permanently disabled from police duties if able to perform a sufficient range of the duties expected of his or her rank. We therefore expect to consult the police service about the precise terms of revised regulations later in the year.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: For England and Wales there is no separate offence of driving a vehicle using a mobile telephone and any prosecution is likely to be for driving without due care and attention, for which there were 54,789 prosecutions resulting in 45,509 convictions in 1999 (latest available figures). The employment status of a defendant is not recorded centrally.
It is also possible for such drivers to be prosecuted or issued with a fixed penalty for not being in proper control of a vehicle (Regulation 104 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986), but such cases cannot be separately identified in the statistics collected centrally.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Section 3(3) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 provides that interception of a communication is lawful if it is conducted by, or on behalf of, a person who provides a telecommunications service (which includes Internet Service Providers) and it takes place for purposes connected with the provision or operation of that service. An example of this might be to prevent interference with the operation of a system by a virus.
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