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11 Feb 2004 : Column 1477Wcontinued
Nigel Griffiths: The Department received representations that 95 vessels be considered for addition to the list of Qualifying Icelandic Water Vessels. A further 25 vessels, in respect of which appeals are currently with the scheme's Independent Adjudicator, were also considered by officials for addition to the list.
Ms Hewitt: Two patent applications relating to transgenic fish are pending before the UK Patent Office. There may be others among the thousands of applications early in the application process, which have not yet been sorted into specific subject areas.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the European Union regarding an EU ban on the trade in domestic dog and cat fur. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The UK Government's view is that any action on the issue of the alleged trade in domestic cat and dog fur would be most effective if taken at EU level. In November 2002, my noble Friend, the then Minister for International Trade and Investment publicly supported calls by the European Parliament for an EU ban on the trade in these furs. Late last year, the UK Government also supported Denmark and the Netherlands in calls for the European Commission to consider measures to put an end to any import of domestic cat and dog fur. The Government continue to be in regular contact with other interested member states to discuss what proportionate action on this issue may be appropriate at EU level.
Mr. Timms: The Government are pursuing a wide range of policies and measures to encourage a shift towards low carbon technologies. These are described in the Energy White Paper "Our energy futurecreating a low carbon economy" which was published in February 2003. They include giving priority to renewables, promoting energy efficiency and making the EU Emissions Trading Scheme a key part of our future market framework.
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In addition, the Research Councils support a broad range of energy research, which will be given increased focus and coherence with the establishment of a new UK Energy Research Centre later this year.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much nuclear waste has been (a) imported into the United Kingdom, (b) reprocessed in the United Kingdom and (c) subsequently exported from the United Kingdom in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The UK does not allow the import of radioactive waste, but foreign spent fuel is received in the UK for reprocessing. Details of fuel deliveries and the programming of reprocessing fuel are operational and commercial matters for BNFL and its customers, but the total amount of foreign spent fuel to be reprocessed during THORP's baseload period of operation is 4,547 tonnes.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many tons of radioactive waste were shipped to the United Kingdom for storage in each year since 1997; and what the projected figures are for each of the next four years. 
Mr. Timms: The UK does not allow the import of radioactive waste, but foreign spent nuclear fuel is received in the UK for reprocessing. Details of fuel deliveries are operational and commercial matters for BNFL and its customers.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the contract for the consultation paper on proposals for intermediate level radioactive waste substitution, published in January 2004, was put out to competitive tender; how NAC International Consultancy was chosen to prepare the document; who the other bidders were; and what account was taken of NAC International's existing contracts with BNFL in making the selection. 
Bids were received from six companies by the due closing date of 6 December 2002. All complied with the ITT and in material respects, with all other commercial evaluation criteria laid down by the Department's procurement manual. The Code of Practice on Access to Government Information (Exemption 13 Third Party's Commercial Confidences) exempts the bidders from being named.
NAC were selected on the basis of relevant experience, value for money and the ability to deliver a quality report to agreed timescales. NAC, together with four other companies provided statements of independence with their tenders.
NAC is an international company providing consultancy services on a wide range of nuclear issues. We are advised by NAC that its work for BNFL amounts to around 0.3 per cent. of current turnover. Most of NAC's turnover is generated from work conducted outside of the UK.
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Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many manufacturing jobs were lost in Shrewsbury and Atcham in (a) each year since 1997 and (b) each month in the last 12 months. 
|Month||Total manufacturing jobs lost||Companies where lossesoccurred|
|February 2003||120||Perkins Engines|
|April 2003||132||Comau Estil|
|Churchill and Bramhall|
|September 2003||33||Scott and Newman|
|December 2003||79||Perkins Engines|
Job Centre Plus Telford
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the potential impact upon an individual's rights under UK data protection legislation arising from the move of call centres and data processing offshore. 
Ms Hewitt: Where a company established in the UK either processes personal data itself in another country or has personal data processed on its behalf under contract by a company in another country, the UK company retains full responsibility for ensuring that the processing complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. In particular, UK companies must comply with the eighth Data Protection Principle which prohibits the transfer of personal data from the UK to a country or territory outside the EEA unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of data protection.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the (a) Government and (b) European Commission are taking to prevent improper support payments to contractors and sub-contractors by (a) governments and (b) government agencies competing for construction work in Britain's offshore gas and oil industries. 
Mr. Timms: The EU state aid rules are intended to prevent improper payments that can distort competition in the Single Market. The rules apply impartially to funding from all member states and to all levels of government and government agencies. The European Commission is the guardian of the state aid rules and
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they must examine aid to ensure that it does not distort the Single Market. All aid must be notified to and approved by the European Commission before it can be granted. The Commission is also obliged to investigate any allegations of illegal aid and if necessary take action. This may include recovery action in some cases.
The Government strongly support the state aid regime and all Government funding must be given in accordance with the rules. The Government will also bring to the Commission's attention allegations of illegal aid in other member states.
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