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4 Dec 2002 : Column 917W—continued

Belgium (Employment)

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of impediments to employment faced by British workers in Belgium. [84575]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 2 December 2002]: We are not aware of any specific impediments which face British workers in Belgium. The UK embassy produces information materials for UK nationals working in Belgium.

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Employers' Liability Insurance

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will hold an inquiry into the operation of employers' liability insurance; and if he will make a statement. [82829]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 25 November 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his statement on the pre-Budget report on 27 November that, in response to concerns about rising insurance costs, the Department

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for Work and Pensions will lead a formal review of the operation of employers' liability insurance.

Switzerland (Employment)

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of the freedom of establishment treaty between Switzerland and the EU on employment opportunities for British workers in Switzerland; [84577]

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Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 2 December 2002]: The freedom of movement and employment of UK workers in Switzerland is governed by an agreement between the European Community and its member states, and the Swiss Confederation which came into force on 1 June 2002, with final implementation in 2007.

The agreement accords UK workers a right of entry, residence and access to work as employed persons or the right to establish themselves on a self-employed basis.

Given the short period of time since it came into force, no assessment has been made of the effect of the agreement.