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Falkland Islands

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total annual amount spent by his Department in respect of the Falkland Islands in the last year for which figures are available. [130417]

Mr. Spellar: The outturn cost to the Ministry of Defence for the Falkland Islands Garrison in financial year 1999-2000 was £71.1 million.

This figure relates to the costs incurred by the Commander British Forces Falkland Islands only. It does not include the costs of the RAF airbridge to the Falkland Islands, nor the cost of naval deployments to the South Atlantic. These costs fall to other budgets and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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Nuclear Fuel

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of the respective stockpiles of reprocessed uranium from (a) magnox fuel, (b) AOR fuel, (c) SGHWR fuel and (d) fast reactor fuel have been re-cycled in new fuel to date; and if he will list the quantities and current locations of the reprocessed uranium stored to date. [129967]

Mrs. Liddell: Proportion (a) is approximately 50 per cent. Proportion (b) is 0 per cent. Proportions (c) and (d) cannot be calculated without incurring disproportionate cost, because UKAEA does not separately distinguish the source of the uranium which it uses for fuel manufacture.

My Department published the figure of holdings of civil depleted, natural and low enriched uranium at 31 December 1999 on 13 June. This material is stored at licensed civil nuclear sites in the UK.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which (a) Government Departments, in (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) Japan, (b) en route states, (c) nuclear regulatory bodies and (d) non-governmental groups in (1) the United Kingdom, (2) Japan and (3) en route states were consulted on the decision to return plutonium MOX fuel to Sellafield; what considerations underlay the decision to transport the plutonium fuel; what other options were considered; what his estimate is of the cost of the shipment and subsequent processing at Sellafield; and what is the basis for his estimate. [130850]

Mrs. Liddell: The agreements announced on 11 July on resolving the problem of the MOX fuel at Takahama in Japan followed discussions between BNFL and its Japanese customer, Kansai Electric Power Company, and between the UK and Japanese Governments.

The Government's support for BNFL's decision followed full consultation across Departments. The cost of the return shipment and the subsequent handling of the fuel at Sellafield is a commercial matter for BNFL.

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the total cost of returning the defective MOX fuel from Japan to the United Kingdom; and if he will break down the main components of the cost. [131301]

Mrs. Liddell: British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL) is responsible for the return of the MOX fuel in Japan. The fuel will be returned at BNFL's expense. The cost is a commercial matter for BNFL.

Export Licences

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many export licence applications to his Department have been awaiting a decision for more than (a) three months, (b) six months and (c) a year. [130049]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 11 July 2000]: At 7 July 2000, a decision had not yet been taken on 634 applications for new individual export licences received since 2 May 1997. These are broken down as follows:

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Standard individual export licencesOpen individual export licences
Applications received between:
7 July 1999 or earlier 6268
8 July 1999 and 7 January 2000 11852
8 January and 7 April 2000 24292

The figures for open individual export licences do not cover amendments, extensions or OIELs for protective clothing for the media.

However, this information should be considered in light of the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Kingswood (Mr. Berry), on 27 July 1999, Official Report, columns 307-08W.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how often in (a) 1997, (b) 1998 and (c) 1999 an export required a licence under the weapons of mass destruction end use controls; in which states these end-users were located; and in how many cases the licence was refused. [130800]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 17 July 2000]: Details of all export licensing decisions taken between 2 May 1997 and 31 December 1998 were set out in the Government's 1997 and 1998 annual reports on strategic export controls, published by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; copies are in the Library of the House. These reports list by country of destination the numbers of export licences issued and refused in each entry in the relevant legislation under which the export of goods is controlled, which is known as their rating.

The end use control applies to goods, not otherwise subject to control, where the exporter has been told or knows or suspects that the goods would or might be used in activities connected with weapons of mass destruction or missiles for their delivery. Goods controlled for these reasons are given the rating "End Use".

Information on export licensing decisions taken in 1999 will be set out in the 1999 Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls, which will be published soon.

Venture Capital

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to help developers of agriculture-related projects obtain access to venture capital. [130732]

Ms Hewitt: The Enterprise Fund's venture capital elements, the UK High Technology Fund and the Regional Venture Capital Funds, are being established to stimulate the availability of equity finance for smaller businesses which offer significant growth potential.

A range of agriculture-related projects will be eligible to receive equity funding through the Enterprise Fund venture capital schemes. However, all investment decisions under these programmes will be made by professional Fund Managers in pursuit of the best possible commercial returns for their funds. It is therefore not possible to pre-determine the sectors in which investments will be made.

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Sub-post Office

Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will investigate ways of increasing the incomes of sub-post offices by (a) the payment of wages to their staff, (b) provision of swipe cards for the collection of child allowances, pensions and other benefits, (c) encouraging their use for the charging of electricity key meters, (d) the issue of vehicle excise licences and (e) other means. [131162]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The Performance and Innovation Unit's report on the future of the post office network identified new business opportunities for sub-post offices and the Post Office is also seeking out new commercial opportunities in order to sustain or enhance the income of sub-post offices.

Mortgages (Insurance Products)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his policy is towards tying the sale of insurance products to mortgage lending; and if he will make a statement. [130810]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 17 July 2000]: I consider that tying-in of mortgages with insurance often means that consumers pay uncompetitive premiums for their insurance cover. I believe that consumers should be free to shop around for the best deal.

DTI is therefore now consulting on a proposal to ban compulsory tie-ins of mortgages with insurance products. Once I have considered fully all the responses to the consultation, I will then look at how this proposal can be taken forward.

Intellectual Property Rights

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what documentation has been prepared by his Department for the TRIPS Council to demonstrate compliance of the United Kingdom's intellectual property law with the TRIPS Agreement which incorporates Article 10bis of the Paris Convention; what response his Department has received from the TRIPS Council; and if he will place a copy of both the document and response in the Library; [130410]

Dr. Howells: As required by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement the United Kingdom notified its main dedicated intellectual property laws and regulations to the WTO. These were published by the WTO during 1996 in documents with the references IP/N/1/GBR/1, IP/N/1/GBR/C/1, IP/N/1/GBR/C/2, IP/N/1/GBR/T/1, IP/N/1/GBR/T/2, IP/N/1/GBR/G/1, IP/N/1/GBR/G/2, IP/N/1/GBR/D/1, IP/N/1/GBR/D/2, IP/N/1/GBR/P/1, IP/N/1/GBR/P/2, IP/N/1/GBR/P/3, IP/N/1/GBR/L/1, IP/N/1/GBR/U/1, IP/N/2/GBR/1 and IP/N/6/GBR/1.

The United Kingdom participated in reviews of developed country WTO members' TRIPS implementing legislation carried out by the TRIPS Council throughout

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1996 and 1997. Records of introductory statements made by the United Kingdom delegation, questions put to the United Kingdom delegation and the responses given were published by the WTO in four documents with references IP/Q/GBR/1, IP/Q2/GBR/1, IP/Q3/GBR/1 and IP/Q4/GBR/1. All of these documents are available to the public on the WTO website,

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