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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with representatives of the German and Dutch Governments on the commercial viability of the Galileo project. 
Ms Hewitt: My officials, together with those of other Departments, have held a number of discussions with officials in the German and Dutch Governments about commercial viability and other issues relating to the Galileo project. We share with them and others the view
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that we support Galileo in principle, subject to satisfying certain conditions on finance, management and civil use. EU level discussions continue in advance of Transport Council.
Ms Hewitt: We are already providing funding to the European Space Agency for the first phase of the Galileo programme. I am currently in discussion with my ministerial colleagues about subscribing to the development and validation phase. We expect the EU Transport Council to decide on 26 March whether or not to proceed with Galileo. If the decision is positive, a UK announcement on funding will follow.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many members of staff of her Department are members of the Territorial forces; and if she has a strategy to encourage members of staff in her Department to become members of the Territorial forces. 
Ms Hewitt: My Department does not currently keep records of staff who are members of the Territorial forces. While there is no specific strategy to encourage staff to become members of the Territorial forces, my Department does grant special leave with pay of up to eight days a year (plus additional special leave without pay) for normal training. In the event of mobilisation of reserve forces, my Department would respond sympathetically to requests for staff to serve actively. Such absence would be unpaid but count as reckonable for pensions purposes.
Mrs. Irene Adams: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the Government have taken to help the aerospace industry since 1997; and if she will make a statement on her plans for further support. 
Mr. Wilson: The Government continue to support the aerospace industry through various programmes. For example, since 1997 we have committed nearly £1 billion in Launch Investment to Rolls-Royce and Airbus UK towards developing engines and wings for new aircraft. The Government have also funded over £100 million of research under their civil aeronautics research programme since 1997. The programme, which was renewed last year for a further five years until 2006, will continue to encourage both research and technology demonstration in civil aeronautics. There are also programmes to encourage cross-sectoral activity, for example, business process improvements, e-business and supply chain activity, from which the aerospace industry benefits. The Government
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are also making significant investment in the science base with the Research Council funding of research in a wide range of basic technologies of potential application in aeronautics.
The Government are undertaking a study with the SBAC to review the future of support to the sector. The Government have also supported retention of a major aeronautics research programme as part of the forthcoming 6th European Framework programme from which UK companies should gain significant benefit.
Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions the Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State for Small Businesses held concerning the case of Ian Stillman during his visit to India on 3 to 6 February. 
Nigel Griffiths: Trade Partners UK was launched in May 2000 and is the trade promotion and development arm of British Trade International. Programme funding of the Government's trade promotion and development activities from 1999, the year British Trade International was established, is as follows:
I have placed in the Libraries of the House a more detailed breakdown of current Government support for trade development and promotion, in the expenditure plans reports of British Trade International (Cm 5123), the Department of Trade and Industry (Cm 5112), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Cm 5110) and British Trade International's resource accounts for 200001 (HC 526).
I have placed in the Libraries of the House information about Government support for trade development and promotion in earlier years, in the expenditure plans reports of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date Trade Partners UK received a request for advice on the attempted acquisition of Sidex by LNM/Ispat; and on what date it replied. 
Ms Hewitt: In accordance with previous Administrations, it is not our practice to disclose internal advice to Ministers which is exempt under Exemption 2 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
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Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the progress her Department has made in consulting universities and colleges of higher education on the inclusion of higher education services in the GATS negotiations at the World Trade Organisation. 
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many members of staff at her Department are justices of the peace; and if she has a strategy for her Department to encourage members of staff to become justices of the peace. 
Ms Hewitt: My Department does not keep records of staff who are justices of the peace. While there is no specific strategy to encourage members of staff to become justices of the peace, my Department does grant special leave with pay of up to 18 days a year (plus reasonable time for travelling to permit up to 26 attendances).
David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many applications have been made for compensation for vibration white finger/ carpal tunnel syndrome, broken down by year of application. 
Mr. Wilson: Carpal tunnel syndrome, CTS, was not originally included in the Handling Agreement and therefore claimants cannot directly apply for compensation for this disability under the present scheme. However, it was agreed last year between the Department and the claimants' solicitors that CTS is a compensatable condition and these claims would be dealt with alongside vibration white finger, VWF, claims. Where claimants have been diagnosed as suffering from CTS following medical assessment, the Department will make an additional payment. The Department cannot therefore state the numbers of CTS claimants until all valid claimants are assessed.
|Number of claims|
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Mr. Wilson: As with other electricity generation options, decisions on nuclear station lifetimes are a commercial matter for the generating companies. Latest information published by the nuclear generating companies is as follows:
|British Energy stations||Declared net capability (MW)||Current expected operational lifetime|
|Hinkley Point B||1,220||2011|
|Sizewell B PWR||1,200||2035+|
|Magnox stations||Capacity (MW)||Expected lifetime|
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