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Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will provide a regulatory impact assessment for those measures that have been announced following the end of the consultation on the Green Paper, "Work and Parents: Competitiveness and Choice". 
Mr. Byers: I am placing a partial regulatory impact assessment in the Library of the House for those measures which have been announced following the consultation on the Green Paper, "Work and Parents: Competitiveness and Choice". A full regulatory impact assessment will be published when the relevant legislation is presented to Parliament.
Ms Rosie Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the action being taken by his Department to help people affected by the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. 
30 Mar 2001 : Column: 795W
We are preparing an information sheet for people living in affected areas listing the benefits most likely to be available to them, the conditions of entitlement and giving examples of the evidence needed to support their claims to ensure they are completed as quickly as possible.
Jobseeker's Allowance, administered by the Benefits Agency, can help people whose normal work or business has been interrupted or who are workless. We have issued guidance to local Benefits Agency staff to remind them of the flexibilities in the benefit rules which are likely to apply to people making claims in affected areas. We are also giving local decision-makers direct access to specialist advice and guidance to ensure that any queries on claims are resolved without delay and are working closely with colleagues in the Employment Service.
Housing Benefit, administered by local councils, is available to help meet the housing costs of people who rent their homes and who are out of work or have insufficient earnings. Social Fund crisis loans are also payable under normal rules to prevent people in affected areas from suffering hardship. We have taken steps to ensure that sufficient funds to meet such need are available to Benefits Agency districts covering affected areas.
Mr. Darling: The Social Security Departmental Report, which sets out the Department's expenditure plans for 2001-02 to 2003-04 and the Main Estimate for 2001-02, has been laid before Parliament. A copy has been placed in the Library.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received concerning recent attacks upon Rohingya Muslims by Rakhine Buddhist extremists in Arakan State, Burma; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Battle: I understand that the violence occurred in Northern Rakhine State, a remote part of Burma. Contacts with UNHCR and INGOs have confirmed reports that there was renewed violence in February 2001, which resulted in loss of life and destruction of homes. Intercommunal tension in Rakhine State is just one example of the suffering of the peoples of Burma. We will continue to press for change in Burma to bring about national reconciliation, full respect for human rights and a return to democracy.
30 Mar 2001 : Column: 796W
visits, and to which countries, the Minister for Europe has undertaken on official business since assuming his office. 
|01||14-15 October 1999||Tampere|
|02||18 October 1999||Hungary|
|03||19-20 October 1999||Warsaw|
|04||31 October--01 November 1999||Yerevan|
|05||08-09 November 1999||Paris|
|06||15-16 November 1999||Brussels|
|07||17 November 1999||Strasbourg|
|08||20-21 November 1999||Florence|
|09||23 November 1999||Luxembourg|
|10||09-11 December 1999||Helsinki|
|11||16-18 January 2000||Rome|
|12||19-20 January 2000||Athens|
|13||22 January 2000||Paris|
|14||24-25 January 2000||Brussels|
|15||30 January--05 February 2000||India|
|16||14 February 2000||Brussels|
|17||18 February 2000||Zagreb|
|18||28 February--01 March 2000||Washington|
|19||15-16 March 2000||Berlin|
|20||23-24 March 2000||Lisbon|
|21||29-30 March 2000||Brussels|
|22||10-11 April 2000||Luxembourg|
|23||15-16 May 2000||Porto|
|24||18-19 May 2000||Gibraltar|
|25||23 May 2000||Brussels|
|26||24-25 May 2000||Spain|
|27||25-26 May 2000||Lisbon|
|28||13 June 2000||Luxembourg|
|29||18-19 June 2000||Porto|
|30||04-05 July 2000||Malta|
|31||10 July 2000||Brussels|
|32||25-26 July 2000||Athens|
|33||05-06 September 2000||Slovenia|
|34||07 September 2000||The Hague|
|35||11-12 September 2000||Sweden|
|36||18 September 2000||Brussels|
|37||12-13 October 2000||Biarritz|
|38||18-19 October 2000||Italy|
|39||08 November 2000||Latvia|
|40||09 November 2000||Lithuania|
|41||19-20 November 2000||Brussels|
|42||28 November 2000||Slovakia|
|43||04 December 2000||Brussels|
|44||07-12 December 2000||Nice|
|45||15 December 2000||Brussels|
|46||22 January 2001||Brussels|
|47||24 January 2001||Prague|
|48||09 February 2001||Helsinki|
|49||22-23 February 2001||Stockholm|
|50||26 February 2001||Brussels|
|51||28 February 2001||Austria|
|52||14 March 2001||Cyprus|
|53||19 March 2001||Brussels|
|54||22-24 March 2001||Stockholm|
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr. Maude) of 20 March 2001, Official Report, column 112W, for what reason the responsibilities of the Minister for Europe were expanded to include entry clearance. 
30 Mar 2001 : Column: 797W
Mr. Robin Cook: The Minister for Europe was asked to take on responsibility for entry clearance because he was the best man for the job. His stewardship of the portfolio since then has been an outstanding success, as has been recognised by many Members of this House. At home and overseas he has delivered a huge improvement in service. He eliminated the backlog of replies to Members' letters on entry clearance cases, and has achieved dramatic reductions in waiting times at overseas posts such as Islamabad.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what goods subject to strategic export controls have been approved for export to Iraq in the last three months. 
Mr. Battle: Following consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Trade and Industry recently approved licences to export 30 electronic exploder and four Hook and Line Kits, controlled under the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, as amended, to the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for use in a humanitarian mine clearance programme in Northern Iraq under the UN Oil for Food Programme. The export of these goods to Iraq has been approved by the UN Sanctions Committee.
Mr. Battle: The British Government continue to take an active interest in this case. When I met Sergio Vieira de Mello, Head of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), in London on 6 March, I asked him about the UN investigation into the deaths. Mr. de Mello confirmed that the UN police report had been submitted to Mr. Othman, the UN Prosecutor General, who has said that there are grounds to continue with the investigations but that the case is not yet ready for trial. We will continue to monitor developments closely.
Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) on what date (i) an official and (ii) a Minister from his Department first informed (a) an official and (b) a Minister in another EU member state that the UK had its first (1) suspected and (2) confirmed case in the foot and mouth disease outbreak; 
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Mr. Vaz: The Government Chief Veterinary Officer confirmed the presence of foot and mouth on the night of 20 February. The Government were immediately in close contact with the European Commission and other member states. As lead Department, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has since then been in constant contact with European colleagues and the Commission. The FCO has supported through Embassies and Ministerial contacts. The Government have taken every step possible to protect our own industry and farming across Europe.
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