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Baroness Amos: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for International Development is today laying before Parliament copies of the Department for International Development's departmental report 2004.
The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): The Director of Public Prosecutions has, in accordance with Section 7A of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 as amended by Section 53 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, extended the remit of work that may be undertaken by Crown Prosecution Service designated caseworkers.
Designated caseworkers are now permitted to undertake all work in the magistrates' court other than: trials; proofs in absence in either-way cases; committals and sendings; pre-trial reviews; Newton hearings; contested bail hearings.
The extended remit of designated caseworkers will enhance the role of the designated caseworker and enable more effective court listing. It will also support the effective delivery by the Crown Prosecution Service of pre-charge advice.
A designated caseworker will not be permitted to undertake the extended remit until successfully completing a training programme and receiving a personal letter of appointment from the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The Government have issued an open licence for the export to Iran of goods that will be listed in the United Kingdom strategic export controls annual report as "components for military aero engines". The goods will be used by the oil and gas industry to overhaul turbines that power pumps for oil and gas pipelines. The goods are military listed because they were originally designed and used for military aircraft engines. In this instance, the Government are satisfied that there is a minimal risk of diversion to a military end use and are prepared to make an exception to the UK national arms embargo. Other aspects of the application were considered against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): I have today laid before the House a statement of changes to the immigration rules. From 1 May 2004, as a result of the accession of 10 new states to the European Union, nationals of those EU accession states will not require immigration leave to enter or stay in the UK. Consequently it is necessary to remove all references to the individual EU accession states in the immigration rules with effect from the date of accession.
We have also decided to amend the European Economic Area (EEA) national settlement requirements to enable those currently in immigration categories leading to settlement to aggregate time spent here under the immigration rules with that as an EEA national in the UK when making an application to settle. This ensures that new EU nationals will not have to spend a longer time in the UK to qualify for settlement than they would if accession had not occurred. This mirrors the practice followed in previous accessions.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Today my right honourable friend the Home Secretary (David Blunkett) announced that, in line with the House of Lords judgment on 16 October 2003, he has established a public inquiry into the murder of Zahid Mubarek at Feltham Young Offender Institution in March 2000. The honourable Mr Justice Keith will chair the inquiry; he will be assisted by three expert advisors who will provide advice and support to the inquiry on matters relating to race, prison operations and issues affecting prisoners. The inquiry will start immediately with the following terms of reference:
In the light of the House of Lords judgment in the case of Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Amin, to investigate and report to the Home Secretary on the death of Zahid Mubarek, and the events leading up to the attack on him, and make recommendations about the prevention of such attacks in the future, taking into account the investigations that have already taken placein particular, those by the Prison Service and the Commission for Racial Equality.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health (Miss Johnson) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement today.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Ivor Caplin) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
Key targets have been set for the chief executive of the UK Hydrographic Office for the financial year 200405. The targets are designed to drive further improvements to the agency's performance and are as follows:
On 14 August 2003, I announced a review of the future basing requirement for the RAF's air combat service support units (ACSSUs), elements of the air surveillance and control system (ASACS) and some other minor units and the potential impact on the future requirement for RAF Boulmer, RAF Neatishead, RAF Sealand and RAF Stafford, should relocation of units currently based there be recommended.
The primary objective of this particular review was to meet the department's basing needs in the light of the move towards expeditionary operations. A number of options were identified on which my officials have consulted widely. A number of honourable Members have made representations. The review has now concluded.
I am now able to inform the House that I am inclined, subject to formal consultation with the trade unions, to accept the option which creates an ACSSU communications hub and a base for ASACS units at RAF Scampton and an ACSSU logistics hub at RAF Wittering. Implementation of this option as a whole would be over an extended period, beginning later this year and not complete until about 2012.