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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Document SN 1247/1/01 REV1 contains the text of the Treaty of Nice in its definitive form. That text was signed in Nice on 26 February and is available in the Libraries of both Houses.
Following the Nice European Council, minor changes were made to the draft treaty at the meetings of the Permanent Representatives Committee on 20 and 21 December. These addressed inconsistencies in the text and between language versions and provided legal clarification of the decisions taken. The text was then finalised from a technical and linguistic point of view by the lawyer-linguists of the Council in conjunction with lawyers from the member states.
For the Treaty of Nice to enter into force it must be signed and ratified by all the member states. Therefore if the UK had not signed and did not go on to ratify the treaty it could not enter into force. The Government did not withhold their signature and will introduce legislation to enable them to ratify the treaty.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Article 5 of the treaty establishing the European Community provides that the principle of subsidiarity applies to all Community legislation except for any which comes within the exclusive competence of the Community. Single market legislation does not fall within the exclusive competence of the Community and therefore the principle of subsidiarity applies to it.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Prime Minister has urged the Israeli Prime Minister elect, General Sharon, to work for a negotiated peace on the agreed basis of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. The Foreign Secretary and the Minister of State, Brian Wilson, and the noble Lord, Lord Levy, as the Prime Minister's personal envoy, have reinforced this message in discussions with representatives of the new administration.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): The policy of the United Kindom towards participating in measures under Title IV of the treaty establishing the European Community is to review each proposed measure individually and to opt in when it is in the interests of the UK to do so. In a reply to a Written Question from the honourable Member for Penrith and the Borders (David Maclean) in another place on 12 March 1999 (Official Report, col. 380) the Home Secretary confirmed his statement that day at the Justice and Home Affairs Council that, while we would maintain our frontier controls in line with the Amsterdam Treaty Protocol, we wished to co-operate in all other justice and home affairs areas which did not conflict with this objective. In relation to Title IV, the Home Secretary highlighted areas in which the UK would look to participate as asylum and civil judicial co-operation measures and measures to control illegal immigration where these did not conflict with maintenance of national immigration controls. In accordance with these stated principles, the UK has
Regulation: Commission proposal for a Council regulation concerning the establishment of "Eurodac" for the comparison of the fingerprints of applicants for asylum and certain other aliens (title subsequently amended to "Council Regulation concerning the establishment of 'Eurodac' for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of the Dublin Convention")
Commission proposal for a Council Decision on the conclusion of an agreement between the European Community and Republic of Iceland and Kingdom of Norway concerning the criteria and mechanisms for establishing the state responsible for examining a request for asylum lodged in a member state or Iceland or Norway. (The UK also notified its intention to participate at an earlier stage when the Commission brought forward its proposal for a negotiating mandate.)
Recommendations for Council Decisions authorising the Commission to negotiate readmission agreements with Sri Lanka, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Russian Federation. Civil Judicial Co-operation Measures
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Information about an individual's immigration status is treated as confidential. As regards whether an international arrest warrant has been received, it is our long-established policy neither to confirm nor deny whether such a warrant has been received. The issue of an international arrest warrant is a matter for the issuing state to comment on.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The statement of evidence form is currently accompanied by explanatory notes in English. These notes are being revised and translated into the main languages spoken by applicants from the prinicpal counries of origin. The first group of revised
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