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Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent investigations have been carried out by the Immigration Service into whether Romanians have illegally entered the EU through the Republic of Ireland and then travelled on to Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Browne: The United Kingdom Immigration Service and the Garda National Immigration Bureau work in close co-operation to restrict the abuse of foreign nationals seeking to enter the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. This co-operation has included a joint operation to assess the traffic of foreign nationals travelling between both countries. A number of Romanians were encountered during this exercise but not in significant numbers.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent assessment he has made of whether the public service agreement target to increase voluntary and community sector activity, including increasing community participation, by 5 per cent. by 2006 will be met; 
Fiona Mactaggart: Performance against my Department's targets is published in the annual report and the autumn performance report available in the House Library and on the Home Office website (www.homeoffice.gov.uk).
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether changes are planned to the format of (a) the UK passport and (b) the passport application form; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Browne [holding answer 16 March 2005]: With the introduction of the e-passport by the end of 2005, UKPS plan to make changes to the current format of the UK passport. These changes include enhanced security features and aesthetic changes that will distinguish the new book from the current passport. These changes will be ICAO compliant and will contribute to maintaining the UK Passport as one of the most secure passport documents in the world.
The UK Passport Service regularly reviews the passport application form and associated guidance. The last update was in August 2004. No further changes to the passport application form are planned in the immediate future.
|Number of passports issued|
Ms Blears [holding answer 14 March 2005]: The available information relates to the Leicester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership area and is only available from 200203. 67 per cent. of recorded offences of violence against the person in Leicester in 200203 involved no injury. The equivalent figure for 200304 was 63 per cent.
It is important to remember that recorded crime data are, however, affected by changes in reporting and recording. In particular, the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002 led to an increase to the number of offences of violence recorded by the police.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much has been spent on (a) entertainment lunches involving civil servants and guests and (b) working lunches, in each year since 1997. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999. The Office provides a number of services to the Office of the Advocate-General for Scotland (OAG) that are managed centrally and it is not possible to separate all expenditure between both Offices.
Mr. Darling: Quarterly GDP data from the Scottish Executive show that the Scottish economy has been expanding for 10 consecutive quarters. Quarterly statistics for Scotland are only available from 1995; however, there were also 10 quarters of consecutive growth recorded between 1999 Q3 and 2001 Q4.
Looking ahead, the prospects for the Scottish economy are strong. Business surveys now report continuing growth into 2005 and independent forecasters anticipate above or at trend growth for this year.
Mr. Darling: Of the 31 quarters since (and including) 1997 Ql, 26 were periods of expansion, four were contractionary and there was only one instance of no movement. The four separate quarters of negative growth were 1997 Ql, 1998 Q3, 1999 Q2 and 2002 Ql. There have been no consecutive periods of quarterly negative growth.
From 2005, the celebration of St. Andrew's Day in Scotland will centre on an annual theme, responsibility for which lies with Scottish Executive Ministers. This year's celebration will focus on the theme of 'One Scotland, Many Cultures', fully recognising Scotland's history and traditions while celebrating our cultural, religious and ethnic diversity.
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Mr. Ingram [holding answer 7 March 2005]: The aerospace sector continues to form the largest element in UK/US defence trade. This trade is highly important to both nations, helping to ensure that the armed forces of both are supplied with the best available equipment as cost-effectively as possible.
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