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4 Dec 2002 : Column 796Wcontinued
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the action taken by his Department concerning British nationals seeking assisted suicide overseas, with special reference to the practice in European jurisdictions. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Government policy is that British nationals seeking assisted suicide overseas, in European jurisdictions or otherwise, are not given advice by this Department which might help achieve that outcome.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Danish proposals to alter the financial terms for the countries applying for EU membership in 2004. 
Mr. MacShane: The Danish Presidency has tabled final proposals to EU candidates including increases in some agricultural quotas and in financing. The Government remains determined to conclude the enlargement negotiations at the Copenhagen European Council (1213 December). The final agreement must be fair and respect the agreement reached at the Berlin European Council in 1999 on financing enlargement.
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Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what instructions he gives (a) ambassadors and (b) other embassy staff on making statements in (i) written and (ii) broadcast media; what particular instructions he gives about public comment on political matters when referendums are to be held in a country; and how he decides when the rules relating to comment on referendum campaigns should take effect. 
Mr. Straw: FCO officials who deal with the press are governed by the Civil Service Code and are guided by Cabinet Office advice to government information and communication officers (Guidance on the Work of the Government Information Service), both of which can be found on the Cabinet Office website (www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk). British diplomats are under instruction not to engage in any activity that might be interpreted as party political.
Mr. David Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will extend the consultation period on the future development of air transport in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: Fleet planning decisions are a commercial matter for the airlines concerned. The Government does not maintain statistical data on the aircraft orders placed by the 150 air carriers licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account he has taken of (a) aircraft orders placed and (b) passenger growth in determining the criteria for the future development of air transport in the UK. 
Mr. Jamieson: As described in the national aviation consultation documents, forecasts of unconstrained passenger demand out to 2030 are the starting point for assessing demand for airport capacity. However, this is not a 'predict and provide' approach: the forecasts only identify what additional capacity would be needed if demand were to be met, either fully or partially, so that the positive and negative aspects of that additional capacity can be appraised so as to reach a view on what, if any, degree of airport expansion is appropriate. The passenger forecasts are long term forecasts, anddepend on key factors influencing demand such as GDP and fares; they do not use aircraft orders to assess supply over shorter periods ahead since the availability of aircraft is not assumed to be a constraint.
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Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the ownership of take-off and landing slots at (i) Gatwick and (ii) Heathrow airport. 
Mr. Jamieson: The ownership of slots will be considered as part of the consultants' study now being carried out for the commission on the possible use of market-based solutions for the allocation of slots at congested airports.
Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans he has to submit proposals to the European Commission on the revision of Article 14 of Council Regulations (EEC) 95/93 on slot allocations at community airports; what timetable has been established for such proposals to be submitted; and what nature of consultation he envisages; 
Mr. Jamieson: We believe that the auctioning of new slots, and the trading of existing slots, would help maximise the efficiency of use of slots at congested airports. My officials will be consulting interested parties, including the Scottish Executive, about proposals for amendments to the Commission's proposals for amending Regulation 95/93, and for amending Regulation 2408/92 on Public Services
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason the northbound carriageway of the M1 motorway near junction 34 has been closed; what steps have been taken to reduce traffic congestion and delays; and when all three lanes on both north and southbound carriageways in this area will be fully operational. 
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Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) discussions his Department has had or plans to have and (b) representations have been received by his Department with regard to the (i) economic, (ii) social and (iii) environmental costs and benefits which (A) have been obtained and (B) could potentially be obtained from changes in the number of international passengers passing through international hub airports in the United Kingdom; and if he will place copies of related documentation in the Library. 
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