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Sectarian Violence

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what studies her Department has commissioned on the age, gender and social and economic profile of the perpetrators of sectarian assaults. [91534]

Mr. Ingram: To date the Government have not commissioned studies on this issue.

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Genetically Modified Fish

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the notifications under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 1992 (as amended) for work on genetically modified fish to be undertaken in Scotland. [88730]

Mr. Macdonald [holding answer 28 June 1999]: None. Activities involving genetically modified animals and plants need to be notified if they fail to meet criteria for safety to human health specified in the Regulations.

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has assessed about biotechnology research involving (a) the transfer of fish genes into other organisms and (b) genes into fish. [89024]

Mr. Macdonald [holding answer 29 June 1999]: The only information assessed related to a premises notification submitted in 1994 under the Genetically Modified Organism (Contained Use) Regulations 1992 and related to work on transgenic fish undertaken at Otter Ferry Salmon Ltd., Argyll, with the assistance of a Canadian company. It was a pre-market pilot study and as such did not involve commercial release. This work has now ceased.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many times ministers in his Department have held meetings with ministers and officials of the Irish Government since 1 January 1998, indicating the dates and locations of each meeting, the ministers involved, and the names of the Irish ministers and officials at each meeting. [90403]

Dr. Reid: My hon. Friend the Member for Western Isles (Mr. Macdonald) held an ESDP bilateral in Dublin with Dan Wallace, Minister of State at the Irish Department of the Environment, on 12 March 1998. In accordance with convention the names of officials in attendance are not given.

Scottish Parliament

Mr. Gorrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish, through concordats or other appropriate documents, the administrative measures taken to clarify the arrangements within Government Departments on demarcation between matters dealt with by the Scottish Executive and those relating to Scotland continuing to be dealt with by the Scottish Office or other Whitehall Departments. [91236]

Dr. Reid: The devolution legislation defines the scope of the responsibilities of members of the Scottish Executive. The Scottish Ministers' responsibilities include functions in relation to matters in Scotland which are not reserved by schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998 and functions transferred to them under section 63 of that Act (e.g. under The Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 1999, SI 1999 1750).

Climate Change Levy

Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the impact

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which the proposed climate change levy will have on the Scottish agricultural sector; and if he will make a statement. [91675]

Dr. Reid: The climate change levy will play a key role in helping the UK meet the greenhouse gas emission targets we are committed to achieve. It is a priority objective for the Government to mitigate the global impacts of climate change. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is responsible for this matter, will consider all submissions on the levy before he makes an announcement on its final form.

The National Farmers Union of Scotland has submitted its views on the levy to HM Customs and Excise. The National Farmers Union has joined representatives of other energy intensive sectors in negotiations for energy efficiency agreements with the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. Sectors which make satisfactory agreements will be eligible for lower rates of levy. I understand that there has been good progress in the negotiations.



Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark will be in service; and if he will make a statement. [85960]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 8 June 1999]: The current approved ISDs are March 2002 and March 2003. However, the DPA has been informed that Marconi Naval Systems (MNS) (formerly VSEL) is experiencing difficulties with maintaining the LPD(R) construction programmes on schedule at their Barrow shipyard. I cannot confirm whether we will need to revise the in service dates until the company has completed their detailed negotiations with the DPA.


Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the percentage of the total value of the Eurofighter which is to be manufactured in the United Kingdom. [89928]

Mr. Spellar: Eurofighter workshare entitlements are based on the number of aircraft each of the four partner nations is purchasing. As the United Kingdom is purchasing 232 aircraft from a four nation total of 620, the percentage value of Eurofighter work accruing to the United Kingdom is 37.42 per cent. Any imbalances that arise between production activity levels and entitlements will be addressed during the life of the programme using mechanisms established in the Eurofighter Memoranda of Understanding signed by the four partner nations in December 1997.

TRIGAT Programme

Mr. Cann: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the medium-range TRIGAT programme. [90175]

Mr. Spellar: On 10 June the Secretary of State for Defence announced that the UK intended to join the Industrialisation and Production phase of the MR

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TRIGAT programme. The UK, France and Germany have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) covering that stage of the programme. Subject to signature of the MOU by the remaining partner nations, Belgium and the Netherlands, and satisfactory final negotiations with the Prime Contractor, Aerospatiale, we expect to place a contract for the Industrialisation and Production of the weapon system later this year.

Project Budgets

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the current budget of (a) the Active

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Decoy Round-Outfit DHL Project, (b) the Chinook Medium Support Helicopter Project, (c) the Counter Battery Radar Project, (d) the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System for Royal Navy Ships and Aircraft Project, (e) the Skynet 4 stage 2 Project, (f) the Truck Utility Light/Medium/Medium Project and (h) the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile Project; and in each case what was the original and what is the current in-service date. [90428]

Mr. Spellar: The information is as follows:

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ProjectOriginal predicted in service dateCurrent predicted or achieved in service dateCurrent estimated project cost at 1999-2000 prices (£ million)
Active Decoy Round-Outfit DLHDecember 1997April 2000108
Chinook Medium Support HelicopterDecember 1997December 1997322
Counter Battery RadarDecember 1993December 2002180
Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) for RN ShipsJune 1993December 2002358
JTIDS for Sea HarrierJune 1998December 2004--
JTIDS for Sea KingDecember 1999July 2001--
Skynet 4May 1997May 1998500
Truck Utility LightDecember 1994September 1997241
Truck Utility MediumDecember 1994April 1997--
Truck Utility Medium (Heavy Duty)December 1994May 1995--
Tomahawk Land Attack MissileDecember 1998December 1998200

21 Jul 1999 : Column: 535

43 Brigade

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many redundancies there will be in Exeter following the removal of 43 Brigade to Bulford, Netheravon and Tidworth. [91566]

Mr. Doug Henderson: Our current estimate is that 27 people may be made redundant; this excludes members of the MOD Guard Service. The effect on MOD Guard Service personnel will depend on the future access control requirements at Wyvern Barracks, Exeter, which are yet to be finally determined.

British Forces Broadcasting Services

Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make funding available to British Forces Broadcasting Services to enable the temporary radio station for the Colchester Garrison to be made a permanent service. [91793]

Mr. Doug Henderson: The 'garrison radio' service at Colchester is part of a trial facility over a 12 month period from April this year at the four largest UK mainland Army garrisons, as part of the Army's Corporate Communications Strategy. The facility uses a short-term (28 day) restricted service licence granted by the Radio Authority and each location (Bulford/Tidworth, Catterick, Colchester and Aldershot) will be covered twice during the trial period. A decision on the future of this service will be made following an assessment of the outcome of these trials and the availability of suitable frequency licences.

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