Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what specific amount of capital or income has been set by the immigration and nationality department to satisfy the Department of a European economic area national's entitlement to residence under Council directive 90/364 EEC.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision is made under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Order 1994 or elsewhere to give effect to Council directive 75/34 article 5, which says that a retired self-employed citizen of the Union must be permitted a period of two years from the date on which he or she becomes entitled to the right of residence to exercise the right, even if the person has spent those two years outside the country.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Article 6 of the draft Immigration (European Economic Area) Order 1994 provides that a self-employed person who has ceased economic activity in the United Kingdom within the terms of Council directive 75/34/EEC is qualified to reside in the United Kingdom. No time limit is imposed within which this right must be exercised.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evidence of sickness insurance in respect of all risks the immigration and nationality department has determined to be appropriate for the purposes of Council directive 90/364 EEC.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many citizens of the European Union have been issued letters in each of the past five years advising them that their presence in the United Kingdom is no longer lawful on the ground that the person is not or is no longer exercising a treaty right ; and how many of those decisions were subsequently executed in each of the past five years.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Information is available for only part of the period requested. Between September 1992 and December 1992, 27 letters were issued to European Community nationals advising them that, because they
Column 173were not in employment and had insufficient resources to avoid becoming a burden on public funds, they were not exercising a right of residence under European Community law and accordingly should make arrangements to leave the United Kingdom. In 1993, 180 such letters were issued. Since 1 January 1994, when EC rights of residence were extended to the European economic area, 563 such letters have been issued to EEA nationals. The Benefits Agency is informed so that it can cease payment of any income support, but it is not known how many of those concerned subsequently left the country.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the total costs of policing for protests regarding (a) the M11 link road, (b) Twyford Down and (c) the Swainswick and Batheaston bypass ; and what additional funds have been made to the forces concerned.
Ms Corston : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many men and how many women have been imprisoned for non-payment of television licence fees in each of the last five years, giving the average amount of debt unpaid by these offenders.
Mr. Maclean : The available information is for 1991-93 and is given in the table. No information is available for the period before 1991 because the offence of non-payment of fines for using a television without a licence was not separately identified in the prison statistics. No information is available centrally regarding the amount of debt outstanding.
Receptions into Prison Service establishments in England and Wales for non-payment of fine imposed for using a television without a licence 1991-1993. Year Number received |Males |Females -------------------------------- 1991 |258 |136 1992 |405 |163 <1>1993 |553 |292 <1> Provisional figures
Ms Corston : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fine defaulters have been imprisoned for non-payment of (a) television licences and (b) community charge or council tax since 1990.
Mr. Maclean : The information requested is given in the table. No information is available for the period before 1991 for non-payment of fines for using a television without a licence because the offence was not separately identified in the prison statistics.
Receptions into Prison Service establishments in England and Wales for non-payment of fine imposed for using a television without a licence and non-payment of the community charge, 1991-1993. Year Offence |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993<1> --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Non-payment of fine for using a TV without a licence |n/a |394 |568 |845 Non-payment of community charge<2> |1 |113 |504 |1,157 <1> Provisional information. <2> A non-criminal offence.
Ms Corston : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) male and (b) female debt defaulters were imprisoned in each month for the latest 12 months for which information is available in respect of non-payment of (i) community charge or poll tax, (ii) rates or council tax, (iii) television licence, (iv) hire purchase and (v) other debts.
Receptions into Prison Service establishments in England and Wales for non-payment of the community charge, rates, other debts and for using a television without a licence: May 1993 to April 1994<1> Non-criminal Using a television offences |without a licence<2> Month |Non-payment of |Non-payment of |Other debts<2> |community charge |rates ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Males 1993 May |97 |16 |23 |43 June |59 |12 |22 |45 July |106 |12 |32 |47 August |82 |10 |25 |45 September |96 |14 |29 |49 October |125 |8 |23 |48 November |96 |14 |20 |44 December |62 |6 |13 |34 1994 January |78 |12 |23 |52 February |90 |10 |20 |40 March |97 |5 |15 |34 April |72 |7 |19 |31 Females 1993 May |8 |2 |- |19 June |5 |2 |- |20 July |10 |1 |- |31 August |15 |- |- |31 September |19 |5 |- |20 October |12 |- |- |27 November |10 |- |- |31 December |6 |- |- |21 1994 January |9 |- |- |25 February |15 |- |- |28 March |20 |1 |- |19 April |12 |1 |- |22 <1> Provisional information. <2> In default of payment of a fine.
Ms Corston : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the 20 courts passing the largest number of custodial sentences in respect of the non-payment of debts for the latest period of 12 months for which there is information, specifying in addition how many of these sentences were for non-payment of (a) television licences and (b) community charge.
Mr. Nigel Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review the formula for calculating areas of urban population for policing purposes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : A new needs-based formula is currently being developed to inform the allocation of resources between police authorities. The definition of urban areas is being considered in that context.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints have been made in the last year for which figures are available of excessive force during deportations ; and how many of these complaints were (a) about immigration officers and (b) about employees of private security firms.
Mr. Charles Wardle : During the 12 months to 31 May 1994, complaints of this nature were made in four cases. All related to employees of private security firms, and all were found to be unsubstantiated.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) male and (b) female prisoners at present serving a life sentence in prisons in England and Wales had their sentence reviewed by the Life Sentence Review Board during 1993.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the amount of money paid to United Kingdom Detention Services for (a) start-up costs and (b) phase-in costs under the contract to run Blakenhurst prison.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 22 June 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the amount of money paid to United Kingdom Detention Services. The payments for start up costs were £3.3 million excluding VAT, and the payments for phase in costs were £4.5 million excluding VAT.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the amount of money paid to United Kingdom Detention Services for operating costs under the contract to run Blakenhurst prison during its first year of operation ; and if this sum included the amounts paid for start-up and phase-in costs.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 22 June 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the amount of money paid to United Kingdom
Column 177Detention Services for operating costs under the contract to run Blakenhurst Prison during its first year of operation ; and if this sum included the amounts paid for start up and phase in costs. The amount of money paid in the first year of operation was £9.4 million excluding VAT.
This sum does not include the start up costs which were paid before the prison commenced operation. However, it does include the phase in costs which related to the period during which the population of the prison grew to 95 per cent. of the certified normal accommodation. This point was reached in November 1993.
Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the turnout across the United Kingdom in the recent European elections ; and what was the comparable figure in each of the other member states.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Information about the number of electors and the number of valid votes counted in the United Kingdom will be included in a Home Office statistical bulletin. Information about the number of people voting in other member states is not held centrally and I will write to the hon. Member once I have the available information.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) British visitor passports and (b) British excursion documents were issued last year ; and what was the cost in each case ;
(2) what plans he has to abolish the British visitor passport and British excursion document ;
(3) what plans he has to consult relevant organisations about the future of the British visitors passport and the British excursion document ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : In 1988, the Home Affairs Select Committee recommended that urgent consideration should be given to the withdrawal of the British visitor's passport as soon as the computerisation of the passport-issuing process was fully operational. This position has now been reached and in September 1993 the United Kingdom Passport Agency began a review of the suitability of the British visitor's passport and the British excursion document as alternatives to the standard passport for travel abroad. The review is considering document security, international acceptability, customer choice and convenience, and other relevant factors. About 1, 972,800 British visitor's passports, and 249,000 British excursion documents were issued in 1993-94 at a cost of £12 and £3 respectively.
The Passport Agency has consulted widely on the review, and detailed responses have been received from travel agents, tour operators, transport and shipping associations, consumer groups and interested organisations within Government. The Passport Agency will be reporting its findings to me in the next few months, when a decision will be taken.
Column 178inspectorate and my right hon. and learned Friend has agreed that revised guidelines should be issued to establishments where such testing is carried out. The guidelines have been endorsed by the Animal Procedures Committee. Copies of the guidelines have been placed in the Library.
The revised guidelines aim to promote best practice in order to keep to the minimum any suffering involved to animals used for eye irritation tests while enabling the requirements of regulatory authorities for such testing to be satisfied.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Switzerland has long-standing close links with the European Union. Following the Swiss referendum rejecting European Economic Area membership, the European Union agreed in principle in November 1993 to start negotiations with Switzerland on a number of new bilateral agreements. The Swiss referendum vote in February in favour of a ban from 2004 on lorries transiting the Alps has so far prevented agreement on a mandate for road transport negotiations. But the May Foreign Affairs Council asked the Commission to bring forward mandates in other priority areas and to obtain clarification of the transit ban, so that transport mandates could be adopted. The United Kingdom has pressed for negotiations to open quickly.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington) of 19 April, Official Report , column 446 , what precise steps are being taken to encourage India and Pakistan's accession to the non-proliferation treaty.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We continue to urge India and Pakistan to accede to the non-proliferation treaty at every appropriate opportunity both in our bilateral contacts and in multilateral forums. We are also supportive of all efforts to improve confidence and security in the region which we believe will help to create an environment in which accession to the NPT by these two countries will become more likely.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on recent developments concerning the verification of North Korea's nuclear facilities ; and what action he is proposing to take.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : North Korea's continued non-compliance with its safeguards agreement is a cause of great concern. North Korea recently completed the removal of all the used fuel rods from its 5 MW nuclear reactor without allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency to verify independently where different rods had been located in the reactor, which prevented the agency
Column 179from verifying whether plutonium had previously been diverted from the reactor. A further worrying development is North Korea's decision to withdraw from the IAEA, though this does not affect the legality of their safeguards obligations. Action, including possible sanctions, is now being considered by the United Nations Security Council.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of which countries appear to be supportive of each of the two sides in the Yemeni conflict.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Those countries that have issued statements about the crisis in Yemen have, as far as we are aware, supported neither one side nor the other. United Nations Security Council resolution 924, calling for an immediate ceasefire and dialogue to end the crisis, has received widespread support.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what practical action is being proposed to enforce the United Nations embargo on arms supplies to both sides in the Yemeni war.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : United Nations Security Council resolution 924 urged countries to cease the supply of arms and other materials to Yemen. No action is necessary in respect of direct exports from the United Kingdom since all military exports are already licensable. No licences have been issued for military equipment for the Yemen since this resolution was passed.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of which British commercial interests both in and outside Yemen are put at risk by the Yemeni conflict.
Plans by several British companies to assist the Republic of Yemen in refurbishing its infrastructure and developing its natural resources have been set back by the current conflict. For example, it was hoped that a major British company would be awarded a contract to help redevelop the oil refinery outside Aden, which has been hit by air raids. Additionally, a British consortium planning the expansion of Mukalla port and power generation has had to postpone its plans.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he fully supports the United Nations Secretary -General's report on Cyprus ; and whether he endorses the Secretary- General's criticism of the lack of political will by the Turkish side to promote a solution to the Cyprus issue.
Column 180the situation at the time. There appears to have been some progress since then. We await a further report by the United Nations Secretary-General.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contributions he has made to the initial installation of a Palestinian administration in the former occupied territories.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : We have contributed £1.3 million to the World bank's trust fund for technical assistance and are contributing through the EC to the start-up costs of the new Palestinian Administration, and of the police in particular. Bilaterally, we have assisted the Administration with expert legal advice on the drafting of the Basic Law and with police training and equipment. We are providing assistance in the financial sector, including Bank of England assistance with the establishment of a central monetary authority, to the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction, and with the legal infrastructure in Gaza. We will also provide help in organising and monitoring the elections.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the reasons given by the Iranian Government for the expulsion of a British diplomat from the British embassy in Teheran ; and what was his response to this action.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Iranian Government are reported as having claimed that Mr. Cowell, the British diplomat expelled from Iran, was involved in actions and behaviour contrary to diplomatic norms and had connections with terrorist groups in Iran. We have made it clear to the Iranians that these allegations are completely unjustified. In our view, Mr. Cowell's withdrawal was a tit-for-tat reaction to the removal of an Iranian first secretary in London in connection with attempts by members of the Iranian embassy to distribute forged documents.
Mrs. Currie : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions in the last 10 years the United Kingdom has used its veto in meetings of the Council of Ministers and other EU ministerial groupings.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : The United Kingdom can always ensure that its concerns are taken fully into account where the treaty requires unanimous voting. As votes are not normally taken in these circumstances, it is not possible to quantify the number of occasions over the past decade on which we have used the requirement for unanimity in order to insist on a particular outcome.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Israel and Jordan have agreed to set up a bilateral commission to discuss water, environment, boundaries and security that will meet in the region in July. We welcome this, and hope there will be further progress on all tracks towards a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress there has been in changing the Malaysian Government's policy of not awarding Government contracts to British firms.
Mr. Goodlad : We have been working hard to restore full trade relations with Malaysia and have remained in close touch with the Malaysian Government. The Malaysians have recently said that the embargo is under review, but have not told us when it will be lifted.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to him by the Russian Government concerning a British-Azerbaijani memorandum signed in February on oil and gas projects in the Caspian sea.
Mr. Hogg : The Governments of the United Kingdom and Azerbaijan signed a memorandum of understanding on energy co-operation in February 1994 which made reference to the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian sea. The Government of the Russian Federation subsequently transmitted to Her Majesty's embassy in Moscow a note setting out their views on the legal status of the Caspian sea.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Governments have now committed forces to the United Nations peacekeeping force in Rwanda ; and when it is expected that these forces will be in place.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Congo and Mali have all responded positively to the United Nations Secretary-General's appeal for troops to agument the United Nations aid mission in Rwanda. It is expected that the first of these troops will be able to be deployed in early July.
Column 182The presidency briefed the Council on its plans for the European Council in Corfu on 24 and 25 June. Growth, competitiveness and unemployment would be the lead items. Other subjects would include the next President of the Commission, Mediterranean issues, aspects of the common foreign and security policy and a formal decision to set up the 1996 study group as agreed in March at the informal Foreign Ministers' meeting in Ioannina.
President Delors presented a progress report on follow-up action on the White Paper on growth, competitiveness and employment. There was a general discussion on issues that would be raised under this item at Corfu.
The Council discussed relations with Ukraine, in particular proposals for assistance in the fields of nuclear safety and agriculture.
The EC and its member states and Ukraine also signed a partnership and co- operation agreement, with President Kravchuk signing for Ukraine. In addition, the Council approved a negotiating mandate for an EC/Ukraine interim agreement on trade matters.
The Council agreed that the EC-Russia partnership and co-operation agreement could be signed in Corfu, subject to Russian confirmation of the lifting of certain restrictions on the operations of European Union banks in Russia.
The Council welcomed the ad referendum agreement by both the Muslim and Croat Mostar delegations to the memorandum of understanding defining the role of the European Union administrator who would shortly take over the administration of the city. The Council also discussed how best to develop its relationship with Croatia, and to encourage continued Croatian co- operation with the peace process. The European Union observer for Cyprus reported to the Council on recent developments in the United Nation's efforts towards implementation of the Secretary-General's package of
confidence-building measures. The Council noted that, in spite of the unhelpful Turkish Cypriot attitude until recently, a last effort was being made to secure agreement, and that the United Nations Secretary-General would be reporting to the Security Council again soon. The Council agreed to continue to monitor the situation and to discuss it again at Corfu.
The Council agreed mandates for the negotiation of new financial protocols with Cyprus and Malta.
The Commission presented a paper on the EU-Mercosur relationship. After discussion, it agreed to produce a further paper on options for developing this relationship. The issue will be discussed further under the German presidency.
Ministers agreed to extend the common foreign and security policy joint action on the stability pact to cover the follow-up to the Paris launch conference. The documents agreed at the Paris conference will be transmitted to Corfu.
The Council noted a paper outlining the options available for financing costs arising from common foreign and security policy actions. It was agreed that these should be discussed with the incoming European Parliament and that further work should be undertaken on specific procedures.
The Council discussed a presidency compromise package designed to secure agreement to a regulation to create a common Community regime of export controls on dual use goods. The package was agreed by 10 member