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Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which relocation companies hold contracts with his Department for the relocation of civil servants; when the contracts were last renewed; where the contracts were advertised; and what the length and value of each contract is. 
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what entitlement citizens of (a) Gibraltar and (b) Ceuta and Melilla have to benefits available to EU citizens; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: The Treaty establishing the European Community applies to Gibraltar as a European Territory for whose external relations the UK as a member state is responsible, subject to various exemptions provided for in the UK's Act of Accession to the Community. Specifically, Gibraltar is not part of the Community Customs Territory and is outside the Treaty rules on the free movement of goods, the Common Commercial Policy, the VAT regime and the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies.
The EC Treaty applies to Ceuta and Melilla as part of the Spanish metropolitan territory, subject to certain exemptions contained in Spain's Act of Accession to the Community. Ceuta and Melilla are not part of the Community Customs Territory (although goods originating in Ceuta and Melilla have duty-free access to the EC) and are outside the Common Commercial Policy and Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies. VAT is not levied there, but Spain contributes to Community own resources on their behalf.
Gibraltar and Ceuta and Melilla are entitled to the benefits flowing from the EC Treaty except those arising from parts of the Treaty and subsequent legislation which are not applicable to these territories.
Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the current average waiting time in Islamabad is for applicants seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom having married United Kingdom citizens from the point of
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application to the issuing of the visa; and what it was on the same count date in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Vaz: At the end of September waiting time in Islamabad for interview for a spouse settlement visa was 18.5 weeks. Waiting times at the same point in the last two years were 40 weeks (1999) and 16 weeks (1998). The monthly data for the years 1995 to 1997 have not been retained. The waiting times at the end of December 1995, 1996 and 1997 were 13.5 weeks (1995), 18 weeks (1996) and 18 weeks (1997). We also know from correspondence with the High Commission that the waiting time for spouse settlement interviews in September 1995 was 18 weeks. All these waiting times are for interview. The time until a decision to issue (or refuse) a visa may be longer, depending on the circumstances of the case. I have today asked Islamabad for weekly information about queue lengths.
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss the conclusions of the OSCE reports on the parliamentary and presidential elections in Kazakhstan in 1999, and the issue of freedom and independence of the media, with President Nazarbaev during his forthcoming visit. 
Mr. Vaz: We welcome President Nazarbaev's visit to the United Kingdom from 15-18 November 2000. The Secretary of State will discuss progress on democratisation and media freedom with President Nazarbaev during his visit to the United Kingdom.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what bearing the Charter of Fundamental Rights will have on verdicts of the European Court of Justice; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: The EU is already obliged to respect fundamental rights, and the ECJ is responsible for ensuring that this happens. The obligation to respect fundamental rights was first given Treaty status at Maastricht. In deciding how to interpret fundamental rights the ECJ is already, and will remain, free to have regard to relevant material. That may include the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The Charter will be adopted at Nice as a political declaration. It will not be legally binding. It will create no new powers or tasks for the EU or the ECJ. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 2 November 2000, Official Report, column 555W.
Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the treaty base for the development in European Union defence policy in respect of (a) CFSP, (b) ESDI, (c) ESDP and (d) CESDP at (i) St. Malo, (ii) Cologne and (iii) Feira. 
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Portschach in 1998. This initiative has been taken forward through the St. Malo UK-French Summit and the European Councils of Cologne, Helsinki and Feira. The aims of the initiative remain the same: to strengthen the military capabilities of EU member states and European Allies and to enable the Council of the EU to decide to launch and to conduct a military crisis management operation (a Petersberg task) where the alliance as a whole is not engaged. ESDI more correctly refers to the arrangements within NATO for the alliance to support European-led crisis management.
Article 2 and Title V of the Treaty on European Union provide the legal base for the EU's CFSP activity, including military crisis management. The Government are satisfied that the Treaty provides a sufficient legal base for the European defence initiative as defined in successive decisions of the European Council.
Mr. Vaz: The Government expect that the European Council at Nice will take decisions on the necessary arrangements to enable the Council of the European Union to decide to launch and to conduct a military crisis management operation (a Petersberg task) where the alliance as a whole is not engaged. The Government are satisfied that the existing Treaty provisions provide a sufficient legal base for the proposals which the French Presidency was mandated to develop by the European Council at Feira.
Mr. Hain: Over US$37 billion has been made available to purchase humanitarian goods under the Oil for Food programme since its inception in 1996. This year alone, Oil for Food revenue is expected to reach more than US$16 billion.
Figures for 1 November are no longer available. However, as at 13 November the UK had 208 contracts placed on hold, valued at approximately US$0.3 billion, which is less than 1 per cent. of the total value of Oil for Food revenue. The UK, as a responsible member of the UN Iraq Sanctions Committee, scrutinises contracts very carefully to ensure that goods are not supplied to Iraq in violation of Security Council resolutions. Holds are normally lifted after assurances have been received about the end-use or in-country monitoring of these goods. Since early October the UK has lifted holds on contracts valued at $200 million following confirmation that the goods will be subject to specific monitoring within Iraq.
It is noteworthy that at the end of October Iraq's bureaucracy was holding back the delivery of US$1.1 billion worth of goods already approved by the Sanctions Committee. Detailed information on the status of individual Oil for Food contracts are available from The Office for Iraq Programme's website (http://www.un.org/Dems/oip.html).
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Mr. Hain: The member states of the European Union, in accordance with their international obligations, continue to implement the United Nations sanctions on Iraq imposed by the United Nations Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the statistical accuracy of recent Eurobarometer opinion surveys concerning attitudes towards the euro. 
Mr. Vaz: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office makes no assessment of the statistical accuracy of such polls. The European Commission produces the six-monthly Eurobarometer poll. For details of the surveys research methodology I refer the hon. Member to the office of the European Commission in London.
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