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The Nigerian Government immediately made clear that the fatwa is null and void. Moderate Muslim leaders distanced themselves from it. On 28 November, the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs of Nigeria (SCIA) rejected the fatwa on the grounds that Ms Daniel was not a Muslim and had apologised.
The Nigerian federal authorities are fully aware of their obligations under the international human rights instruments to which they are a signatory and the damage this illegal fatwa could do to their international reputation.
Baroness Amos: Further to the Answer given by my noble friend Lady Symons of Vernham Dean to Lord Kilclooney of 5 December 2001, there has been very substantial progress on agreeing the relationship between the SBAs and the EU after Cyprus's accession. Our hope is that the final agreement will be in line with the policy set out in my noble friend's Answer: that the SBAs should remain outside the EU but with some technical adjustments to ensure the continued smooth functioning of the relationship between Cyprus and SBAs. To that end, a clearly defined and limited part of the acquis would apply to the SBAs. These arrangements would be compatible with the 1960 Treaty of Establishment and with the undertakings which we made at that time in relation to the SBAs.
We have made this decision because it is in the UK's interest. It will attract workers we need in key sectors. It will ensure they can work without restrictions and not be a burden on the public purse. It forms part of our managed migration agenda. It makes sense financially, as we can focus resources on the real immigration problems, rather than trying to stop EU citizens enjoying normal EU rights; and it makes sense for UK citizens. Already thousands work in the future member states under work permit systems. They and others will have full rights to work in the new member states, free of controls.
The decision has been taken after careful analysis of successive independent studies which show that there is unlikely to be a large influx of workers to the UK after accession. Forthcoming research commissioned by the Home Office also suggests that the numbers that will migrate to the UK after accession will not be significant. This confirms the experience of Spanish and Portuguese accession when there were no major influxes. Indeed, the evidence is that emigrant workers return to their countries after they have joined the EU, thanks to the increased stability and prosperity which EU membership brings.
Enlargement will ensure stability on our continent: the EU was founded to anchor peace and stability in Europe; enlargement is spreading that stability across our continent. It will provide a boost to our prosperity, as have all previous enlargements. Enlargement will improve our environment and security as we will be able to work together to tackle such problems as pollution, drug trafficking and international crime within the enlarged Union.
The UK has been a champion of enlargement from the start. We look forward to the conclulsion of negotiations with 10 candidate countries this week in Copenhagen, and to welcoming them as equal citizens in the EU in 2004.
The Green Paper on the threat from biological weapons, which was laid before the House in April this year, set out a range of practical measures that could be adopted for dealing with this issue. The Government were particularly glad to see that a number of proposals in that paper have been incorporated into the international programme of work that has been agreed for the next three years.
The first round of meetings in 2003 will see discussion of penal legislation to bolster the prohibitions of the convention and also of stricter regulations on the handling of dangerous pathogens. In 2004 states parties will study ways of better responding to and investigating cases of alleged use of biological weapons, and suspicious outbreaks of disease. There will also be an examination of ways to strengthen the world-wide surveillance of disease as it affects humans, animals and plants. Finally, in 2005 there will be discussion, and we hope adoption, of a code of conduct for scientists working in this area.
Her Majesty's Government believe it was vital that agreement on this programme should be reached by consensus among all states parties to the Biological Weapons Convention. It was for this reason that we conducted extensive consultations throughout 2002 to try and establish a basis for compromise. Those efforts clearly bore fruit.
The seriousness and immediacy with which all countries view the BW threat is evident from this outcome. The programme of work won unanimous approval from the United States, our EU partners and other Western countries as well as Russia, China and members of the Non-Aligned Movement. This broad support is vital and will help to ensure that the international community brings its full authority to promoting and taking effective action on the potential dangers posed by the proliferation of biological weapons.
The United Kingdom has played a leading role in the search for ways of reinforcing the Biological Weapons Conference. So this positive outcome to the review conference is all the more welcome. We will remain fully committed to seeing practical results emerge from this process which will help to address an ever present threat both to international stability and the well being of humankind.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Filkin): Accommodation provided by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) is on a "no choice basis". But each case is considered on its individual merits and NASS takes into account any information presented to it. This can include a request to be housed in single-sex accommodation. NASS has a range of accommodation ranging from full board hostels to self-contained flats and houses. NASS also uses houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). All HMOs provide single-sex accommodation but hostels may provide accommodation for both sexes and we cannot guarantee that all single women accommodated by NASS will be housed in single-sex accommodation.
To which places not previously used for the dispersal of asylum seekers they intend to start dispersing such persons; and how many asylum seekers are intended for each new place.[HL484]
Lord Filkin: The following table lists all designated cluster areas and, where applicable, shows the number of asylum seekers including dependants dispersed to each area. The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) is currently negotiating for additional accommodation suitable for families. In addition, one of the private providers contracted to NASS is seeking to fulfil the terms of its existing contract with NASS to provide accommodation mainly for single adults. I am unable at this stage to give information on where this accommodation will be or how many asylum seekers and dependants will be dispersed to each locality.
|Region||Cluster||Populated Y/N||Number of asylum seekers including dependents supported in NASS accommodation as at 30 September 2002(1)|
|East of England||Ipswich||Y||70|
|South Central and East||Brighton & Hove||Y||60|
|Hastings & St Leonards||Y||215|
|Redcar & Cleveland||Y||310|
|Stockton on Tees||Y||675|
|North West||Manchester (Greater Manchester)||Y||2,210|
|Bolton (Greater Manchester)||Y||1,135|
|Bury (Greater Manchester)||Y||470|
|Oldham (Greater Manchester)||Y||655|
|Rochdale (Greater Manchester)||Y||390|
|Salford (Greater Manchester)||Y||900|
|Stockport (Greater Manchester)||Y||275|
|Tameside (Greater Manchester)||Y||215|
|Trafford (Greater Manchester)||Y||115|
|Wigan (Greater Manchester)||Y||780|
|Taunton & Bridgwater||N|
|Bridgend & Porthcawl||N|
|Stoke on Trent||Y||1,195|
|Yorkshire & Humberside||Sheffield||Y||1,595|
|Bradford & Keighley||Y||1,620|
(1) All figures rounded to nearest 5.