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7 Jan 2003 : Column 136Wcontinued
Mr. MacShane: There were no specific discussions of illegal immigration at the Copenhagen European Council. The European Council in Seville in June 2002 focussed on ways to tackle illegal immigration and asylum, agreeing specific tasks and a timetable for implementing them. Good progress has been made on implementing these objectives. The Greek Presidency has identified combating illegal immigration as one of its priorities. Heads of State and Governments will assess progress in implementing the Seville Conclusions at the European Council in June 2003.
Mr. Ian Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether money and resources will be provided by the British Government for campaigning in referenda to be held in the various states proposing to join the European Union in 2004; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: Given the decisions made at the Copenhagen Summit, the Government hopes that where there are referendums, EU membership will be supported; and in deepening and developing relations with the ten states prior to their planned accession on 1 May 2004, the Government will continue to set out the benefits of membership.
The decision to join the EU rests with the citizens of the accession states themselves and the government has no plans to give direct financial support to campaigning groups within the 10 EU accession states
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Minister in his Department is nominated Green Minister; how often he has attended meetings of the Green Ministers; and which official has responsibility for the DEFRA rural proofing check-list in his Department. 
Information such as ministerial attendance at committees is covered by Exemption 2 of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of the Cabinet and its committees.
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Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Hawk components or production equipment exported to India under the open licence issued on 6 September 2001 have subsequently been re-exported; and what the (a) location of and (b) end-use were to which Hawk components or production equipment exported to India under the licence were put. 
Mr. Straw [holding answer 17 December 2002]: The company has informed us that no Hawk components or production equipment have been exported to India under the open individual export licence issued by the Department for Trade and Industry on 6 September 2001.
Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Statutory Instruments subject to negative procedure made by his Department (a) came into force and (b) were considered by a delegated legislation committee in each of the last three sessions. 
Mr. Straw: The Statutory Instruments subject to negative procedure that were made by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in each of the last three sessions, are in the following list. All came into force and were considered by a designated legislation committee.
1999/1437 The Northern Ireland (Location of Victims' Remains) Act 1999 (Immunities and Privileges) Order 1999
2000/2147 The Antarctic (Amendment) Regulations 2000
2001/3497 The British Nationality Act 1981 (Amendment of Schedules) Order 2001
2002/1823 The Extradition (Overseas Territories) Order 2002
2002/1824 The Extradition (Overseas Territories) (Hong Kong) Order 2002
2002/1825 The Extradition (Overseas Territories) (Application to Hong Kong) Order 2002
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what investigation he has made into the number of changed appointment times brought about by the visa section of the British Consulate in Istanbul over the last quarter. 
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Mr. Rammell: No investigation has been made. On rare occasions, operational difficulties such as staff sickness or security restrictions may mean that interview appointments have to be rearranged. In such circumstances, applicants are usually seen the next day. Applicants can ask to have interview appointments brought forward for compassionate or other compelling reasons.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the potential move of the United Nations London headquarters to another European capital. 
Mr. Rammell: As much UN information is available on-line, the United Nations Secretary- General in his report of 23 September 2002, "Strengthening of the United Nations", recommended the rationalisation of UN Information Centres in Western Europe, with their work being taken on by a single regional "hub". We believe the London UN Information Centre does an excellent job in promoting the UN in the UK. But we also fully support the Secretary-General's Reform report, which we believe will help to achieve a more efficient UN with resources focussed on priority activities. The proposed rationalisation of UN information centres will result in savings, which will be reallocated to those parts of the world with less access to information technology.
Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice he is giving to (a) British expatriates living in Caracas and (b) British companies with interests in Venezuela on unrest in that country. 
Mr. Rammell: On 21 December we advised all British Nationals in Venezuela to leave unless they had an urgent reason to remain. This decision was taken because of the continuing national strike and the resultant deteriorating security situation. We have maintained regular contact with British companies operating in Venezuela throughout this period. 139W
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Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors were (a) returned to their country of origin prior to their 18th birthday in (i) 1999, (ii) 2000, (iii) 2001 and (iv) 2002, (b) to which countries they were returned in each year and (c) what criteria were applied for each country; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: The information requested is not available. Although statistics of the removal of failed asylum seekers include unaccompanied minors; they are not separately identified. The information would therefore be available only by examination of individual case-files at disproportionate cost.
However, as a matter of policy, unaccompanied children are not removed under Immigration Act powers unless we are satisfied that suitable arrangements have been made for their reception and care in the destination country.
Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there will be changes to the process for families who apply for asylum in-country claiming support following implementation of section 55 of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. 
Beverley Hughes: From 8 January 2003, when section 55 comes into force, support will be provided to an asylum seeker and his/her household if he or she has a dependant aged under 18 even if he/she did not apply for asylum as soon as reasonably practicable. It is for the Secretary of State, in practice The National Asylum Support Service (NASS), to determine whether a person is a dependant under 18 and to determine who forms part of the household and can therefore receive support irrespective of whether the asylum seeker concerned applied for asylum as soon as reasonably practicable. Accordingly new procedures are being developed to enable this to take place.
Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he intends to take to implement the decision of the High Court on 29 November that the Children Act 1989 applies to children held in prison custody. 
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