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Export Credits Guarantee Department

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the Export Credits Guarantee Department has suspended further cover to BAE Systems pending the outcome of the investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into allegations of false accounting. [206156]

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Mr. Alexander [holding answer 21 December 2004]: ECGD has not suspended further cover to BAE Systems.

On any application for further cover from BAE Systems ECGD will consider, in accordance with its standard practice, both facts relating to the transaction for which cover is sought and any relevant history of the
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applicant in other transactions. Conviction for corrupt activity in other transactions would be a prima facie reason not to grant further cover.

Lie Detector Technology

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment her Department has made of the value of using lie detector technology when assessing claims for coal disease-related compensation. [207722]

Nigel Griffiths: Voice stress technology is increasingly being used by the insurance industry to speed up claims processing. The Department considered whether to do a limited trial to assess its usefulness in Vibration White Finger claims but decided against it.

Lyons Review

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what response the Department has made to proposals in the Lyons Review to relocate jobs in the Department to North East Scotland. [207634]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 10 January 2005]: My Department is required under the Spending Review 2004 to report its relocation proposals to the Office of Government Commerce by March 2005 and is currently developing its proposals. The Lyons Review acknowledged that the Department has an office in Aberdeen, serving the oil and gas industry, and there is no intention to change this position.

Reach Initiative

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the Reach Initiative regarding unsafe substances; what progress has been made with international consideration of the initiative; what barriers there are to its agreement; and if she will make a statement. [207198]

Jacqui Smith: The aim of the proposed REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) is to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment from hazardous
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substances across the EU, while also ensuring the efficient functioning of the internal market, and stimulating innovation and competitiveness in the industries affected by it. These aims will be achieved by improving the information available to users of substances, including consumers, and public authorities on the potential risks posed by substances.

On 21 January 2004 the EU notified the proposed Regulation under the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, providing our trading partners with an opportunity to comment on the proposals. In response to the several comments received, the European Commission gave a detailed presentation to WTO members on the proposed operation and rationale of the REACH Regulation at the TBT Committee held on 4 November 2004 and explained that they considered REACH to be proportionate and did not discriminate against non-EU suppliers.

The continuing negotiations on REACH will seek to remove barriers to agreement among member states by improving the proposals further. The Government are seeking to reach political agreement under the UK Presidency of the EU during the second half of this year.

UK Trade and Investment

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what UK Trade and Investment business support schemes are run by representative trade bodies; and what plans there are to end these schemes. [203953]

Mr. Alexander: UK Trade and Investment administers a number of schemes run by representative trade bodies. These schemes include Support for Exhibitions and Seminars Abroad (SESA), the Export Marketing Research Scheme (EMRS) and the Export Communication Review Scheme (ECRS).

However, as part of its Trade Services Review, which followed an extensive Customer Needs Review, UK Trade and Investment will continue to monitor and evaluate its offering of business support schemes to ensure that its resources are used to maximum impact and benefit to its customers.