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Printer Ink and Toner Cartridges

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentry Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The European Commission has already made clear that these goods are considered consumables for the purpose of this directive. The Government agree with this view.

Wood Panel Industry

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: My officials are obtaining further information on the availability of forestry material used by power generators and wood panel manufacturers.

Nuclear Industry

Lord Jenkin of Roding asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Following the publication in December 2002 of the report of the "Nuclear Skills Group", activity has focused on the development of proposals for a new sector skills council—COGENT—covering the nuclear industry, oil and gas, petroleum and polymers. My officials have also been in discussion with a number of universities about the provision of relevant courses to ensure that skills relevant to the nuclear industry, including its regulators, are available for the future. These discussions are continuing.

EU Takeover Directive

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: It is not presently possible to say when agreement may be achieved on the EU Takeover Directive. lynne

1 Jul 2003 : Column WA95

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What changes have been made to their policy regarding the European Union Takeover Directive following the German Government's support for their position on the European Union Agency Workers Directive. [HL3428]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Government continue to support the aims of the European Commission's October 2002 proposal—that the Takeover Directive should represent a genuine contribution to the single market and increase shareholder protection across the EU.

UK Aerospace Industry: Exports

Lord Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their estimate of the value of annual exports of the United Kingdom aerospace industry.[HL3465]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: According to information published by the Office for National Statistics in UK Trade in Goods Analysed in Terms of Industries, exports of the UK aerospace industry in 2002 amounted to £11.6 billion. The aerospace industry is defined by heading 35.3 of the UK Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (SIC) 1992.

UK Steel Industry: Exports

Lord Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their estimate of the value of annual exports of the United Kingdom steel industry.[HL3466]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: According to information published by the Office for National Statistics in UK Trade in Goods Analysed in Terms of Industries, exports of the UK steel industry in 2002 amounted to £3.4 billion. The steel industry is defined by headings 27.1, 27.2, and 27.3 of the UK Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (SIC) 1992.

Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003

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

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 17 June (WA 93), which individuals and organisations made representations seeking amendments to the draft Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 to ensure religious organisations could continue to comply with doctrinal beliefs or strongly held religious beliefs of their followers. [HL3572]

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Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Representations seeking amendments to the draft regulations to ensure religious organisations could continue to comply with doctrinal requirements or strongly held religious beliefs of their followers were received from a range of organisations and individuals. These included representations from the Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, the Muslim Council of Great Britain and the Baha'i Community of the UK. Many other representations supported this view. I will write to the noble Lord with further details.

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

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 17 June (WA 93), whether they intend to give guidance about the meaning of Regulation 7(3) of the Employment (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003; and, if so, how they will ensure that such guidance is taken into account by courts and tribunals in interpreting and applying Regulation 7(3).[HL3573]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Government provided explanatory notes on the regulations when they were laid before Parliament in May. Copies were placed in the Library of the House and are on the DTI website. Further information, including a brief guide to the key features of the regulations and a more detailed explanation of the law, will be added to the website. ACAS is producing practical workplace guidance designed to meet the needs of employers and individuals which will be available in the autumn.

It will be for tribunals or, as appropriate, the courts to reach their own judgments on the application of the law.

Death Certification and Investigation: Child Death Protocol

Baroness Blood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps the Northern Ireland Office will be taking to implement the recommendation contained in paragraph 10 of Chapter II in Death Certification and Investigation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland regarding child death protocols.[HL3387]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Lord Filkin): The report of the Fundamental Review of Death Certification and Investigation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was published in June 2003. The Government will publish their response to the report later in the year. The Northern Ireland Court Service has initiated a period of public consultation on those aspects of the review that apply to the coroners' service and inquests in Northern Ireland.

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Baroness Blood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any development of child death review protocols in Northern Ireland will involve the input of relevant staff from child protection agencies.[HL3388]

Lord Filkin: The report of the Fundamental Review of Death Certification in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was published in June 2003. One of the recommendations in the report is that protocols should be developed on how children's services and child protection agencies should be involved in death investigation. The Northern Ireland Court Service has initiated a period of public consultation on those aspects of the review which apply to the coroners service and inquests in Northern Ireland. The Government will publish their response to the report later in the year.

Crown Immunity

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the purpose of Crown Immunity; whether it is still appropriate today; and if not, what plans they have to change it.[HL3423]

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Lord Filkin: Government has a duty to act in the best interest of citizens. Exposing the Crown to criminal liability generally could promote an excessively cautious approach to government and could divert public resources into litigation.

However, Crown immunity is being removed, where appropriate, as legislative opportunities arise.

Vaccine Stocks

Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the current size of vaccine stocks held to meet an outbreak of smallpox, anthrax and other plagues which terrorists might use.[HL3129]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): We have a substantial strategic stock of smallpox vaccine, which would be rapidly deployed to contain any outbreak. We have taken steps to considerably increase our supplies. We are planning for every eventuality and this includes the ability to vaccinate the entire population if necessary.

With regard to anthrax and other biological agents that could be used as deliberate release weapons for example plague and tularaemia, the first line treatment for these would be antibiotics rather than vaccines.



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