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10. Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the threat posed by paramilitary activity during the pre-Christmas period in Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Ingram: The Royal Ulster Constabulary have advised that there continues to be a high threat of attack from dissident republicans over the pre-Christmas period, with the most likely targets being the security force personnel and establishments. Recent events show the potential for the escalation of sectarian attacks. Commercial premises could be subject to incendiary attacks. On 8 December police advised owners of commercial premises to be extra vigilant about the security of their property in the run up to Christmas. The Royal Ulster Constabulary are taking all possible precautions to ensure the safety of the public and premises.
Mr. Mandelson: I am not making any special arrangements to celebrate the bicentennial of the Act of Union. Nevertheless, I do recognise the significance of this historical event and I am by no means opposed to initiatives which seek to mark the occasion in a balanced and thoughtful way.
Mr. Mandelson: The British and Irish Governments made a joint statement on 5 May setting out the steps we believed necessary to secure the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement by June 2001. This elicited a positive response from the IRA in their statement of 6 May and was endorsed by the pro-Agreement parties.
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Mr. Mandelson: A stable economy and all the benefits it brings--low unemployment, increased investment, improved living standards--has had a very real and positive impact on the peace process because it is clear that these economic benefits have come about as a direct result of the progress we have made on the political front. This encourages support across the community for such progress to continue.
14. Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will meet senior police officers to discuss enforced expulsions from Northern Ireland of individuals by paramilitary groups. 
It is therefore important that members of communities, within which these attacks are taking place, pass to police any relevant information. They may do so in strict confidence using the Crimestoppers line--0800 555 111.
Mr. Ingram: Terrorism relies in part on the availability of funding. Successive Governments have made provision in counter terrorist law to enable the police to tackle this funding. The Terrorism Act, which is due to come into force early next year, carries forward that regime which includes an offence of inviting another to support a terrorist organisation with money or property. It is also an offence to receive or provide money or property for that purpose. Under the Act, the police can also apply for an order of the court to trace terrorist property by seeking customer information from financial institutions.
In addition, the Secretary of State announced on 25 September the establishment of a new multi agency approach to tackling organised crime in Northern Ireland. We are determined to tackle all manifestations of organised crime, whatever its source.
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21. Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the Royal Ulster Constabulary's role in maintaining security in Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Ingram: The Royal Ulster Constabulary aims to provide a high quality, effective police service to all the people of Northern Ireland. To achieve this it works in partnership with the whole community and in co-operation with other agencies with the purpose of upholding the rule of law in a way that protects human rights, bringing to justice those who break the law, playing a full part in the eradication of terrorism and the prevention of crime, helping to preserve the peace, protecting, reassuring and assisting those it serves.
23. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has received from (a) Mr. and Mrs. McBride and (b) members of the public over the case of Guardsmen Fisher and Wright. 
This issue is entirely a matter for the Army Board, but the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has agreed with the Secretary of State for Defence that neither of these two soldiers will serve in Northern Ireland in the future.
24. Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the average length of time required to produce a coroner's report in Northern Ireland in each of the last two years. 
Mr. Ingram: Matters related to coroners are the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor, and it is the decision of coroners as to whether or not autopsies are conducted. Having decided that an autopsy is necessary a coroner will normally request the State Pathologist's Department to conduct it. It is not possible to provide the average lengths of time taken to provide coroners with such reports without a considerable diversion of resources. Each case is unique and may involve obtaining toxicological analyses and other inputs from elsewhere.
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Mr. Denham: The terms of service set out in the professional and technical B staffs Whitley council agreement specifies the number of working days leave entitlement based on different working patterns of the 37-hour week which are the normal hours of duty. There is no agreement covering paid annual leave outside the 37 hours.
The working time regulations require the four weeks of statutory entitlement for annual leave to be calculated as per the Employment Rights Act 1996, sections 221-224. National Health Service employers, like all other employers, are required to comply with the terms of these Regulations.
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