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Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department took to consult business organisations regarding the lifting of the arms embargo on China. 
Mr. MacShane: Ministers and officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have had frequent contacts with individual companies and representative business organisations regarding the future of the EU arms embargo on China. These discussions are continuing.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK nationals are under sentence of death in China; and what steps the Government are taking to assist in these cases. 
Mr. Mullin: In February 2003, two British nationals (Overseas) were sentenced to death in China. We have not been granted consular access to these British nationals, nor have we received any information about them from the Chinese authorities.
In March 2003, my noble Friend Baroness Amos, the then Minister responsible for consular matters, wrote to the Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) and requested that the sentences be
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commuted to terms of imprisonment. We did not receive a response. In February 2005, the British Embassy in Beijing wrote to the MFA requesting an update on these two cases. We are awaiting a response.
We are resolutely opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances. We will continue our enquiries about these British nationals and will make representations on their behalf at every appropriate opportunity.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton dated (a) 19 January with regard to Mr. Fernando, (b) 17 February with regard to Mr. Rashid, (c) 14 February with regard to U. Ilyias and (d) 23 February with regard to Anthony Leroy Thompson. 
Mr. Mullin: My right hon. Friend wrote to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary with regard to Mr. Fernando on 18 January and my hon. Friend the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Douglas Alexander) replied on 27 January.
There is no record of a letter dated 14 February from my right hon. Friend to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with regard to U Ilyias. The last correspondence on this was the Foreign Secretary's reply of 13 January.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will reply to the letter dated 20 January from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Hina Khalid. 
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the impact on the (a) security and (b) humanitarian situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwandan Joint Border Verification Mechanism established in the Pretoria peace accord of September 2002; and if he will make a statement. 
The Joint Verification Mechanism (JVM) between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda did not become operational until December 2004. It has been a useful confidence-building measure, and combined with the strengthened mandate and more robust approach of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, is helping to maintain pressure on the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda, who declared in Rome on 31 March that they would disarm. We call on them to do so.
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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) financial and (b) logistical assistance the UK has offered (i) directly, (ii) through the EU and (iii) through the UN Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo to (A) the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and (B) the government of Rwanda for the activation and implementation of the Joint Border Verification Mechanism between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mullin: We worked closely with the UN and the Governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, exerting political pressure to ensure that this important confidence-building measure was established, and continue to provide political support, encouraging both sides to use the Joint Verification Mechanism (JVM) to investigate allegations.
The United Nations peacekeeping mission (MONUC) provides logistical and secretariat support to the JVM. The UK's financial contribution to MONUC was an estimated £36 million in financial year 200405.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimates he has made of the number of armed forces active in Eastern Congo that are not under the command of either the Government of Congo or the UN. 
Mr. Mullin: Recent United Nations estimates suggest that there are around 15,000 militiamen in Ituri and around 20,000 Rwandan Hutu (Forces Democratiques de Liberation de Rwanda) rebels in the Kivu provinces. There is also a smaller number of other foreign armed fighters in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Central government control of troops nominally under its command is tenuous in eastern DRC. Some groups, although officially part of the DRC armed forces, operate independently of the army command structure.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) from whom he sought legal advice regarding the incorporation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights within the EU constitutional treaty; 
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Mr. MacShane: There is a strong public interest in ensuring that a Government Department, in the process of formulating policy, is able to act free from external pressure in deciding whether it seeks legal advice, at what stage, and from whom. Accordingly, it is not the Government's practice to indicate on which issues, or from whom, legal advice has been sought.
Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what procedures he expects would be followed if (a) France, (b) the Netherlands and (c) the UK were to fail to ratify the constitutional treaty; 
Mr. MacShane: Under the terms of the EU constitutional treaty, it is the separate obligation of each of the 25 signatories of the constitutional treaty to seek ratification of the treaty by the appropriate domestic arrangements of each member state. In the event of a member state being unable to ratify the treaty, and in line with declaration 30 of the treaty, the matter would be referred to the European Council.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those items of legislation introduced since 1997 in response to a ruling against the Government at the European Court of Justice. 
You recently tabled a Parliamentary Question asking the Foreign Secretary to list those items of legislation introduced since 1997 in response to a ruling against the Government in the European Court of Justice, I answered as Minister for Europe and informed you that I would write with further details when they were available. I am pleased to be able to do so now.
Legislation introduced as a result of rulings in the European Court of Justice is relevant to all Government Departments, not just the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The information below has been collated from information received from all Departments, with the exception of HM Treasury, the Department for Transport and the Wales Office, who were unable to provide the information from their records.
|Title of legislation||SI number||Amendments introduced as a result of specified ruling by ECJ|
|Regulation 5, Social Fund Maternity and Funeral Expenses (General) Amendment Regulation 1997||SI 1997/2538||Case C-237/94, John O'Flynn v Adjudication Officer|
|Regulation 2, Social Fund Winter Fuel Payment Regulations 2000||SI 2000/729||Case C-382/98, R v Secretary of State for Social Security, ex p John Henry Taylor|
|Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999||SI 1999/1102||Case C-13/94, P v S and Cornwall County Council|
|Equal Pay Act 1970 (Amendment) Regulations 2003||SI 2003/1656||Case C-326/96, Levez v TH Jennings (Harlow Pools) Ltd, and Case C-78/98, Preston v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust|
|Regulation 3 and 4, Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (Amendment) Regulations 2003||SI 2003/1657||Case C-185/97, Coote v Granada Hospitality Ltd|
|Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2001||SI 2001/3256||Case C-173/99, R v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry ex parte BECTU|
|Regulation 11, Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2000||SI 2000/2326||Case C-370/90, R v Immigration Appeal Tribunal and Surrender Singh, ex parte Secretary of State for the Home Department|
|Regulation 2(3), Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) Regulations 2003||SI 2003/549||Case C-413/99, Baumbast v Secretary of State for the Home Department|
|Regulation 2, Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) Regulations 2005||SI 2005/47||Case C-109/01, Akrich v Secretary of State for the Home Department|
|Value Added Tax (Insurance) Order 2004||SI 2004/3083||Case C-394/96, Card Protection Plan v The Commissioners of Customs and Excise|
|Drinking Water (Undertakings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2000||SI 2000/1297||Case C-340/96, Commission v United Kingdom|
|Nitrates Vulnerable Zones (Additional Designations) (England) (No 2) Regulations 2002||SI 2002/2614||Case C-69/99, Commission v United Kingdom|
|Amendment to Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. Done by way of an amendment scheme laid before Parliament on 22/07/04||N/A||Case C-78/98, Preston v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust|
|Immigration Act 1971 (c.77) (amended December 2004)||Section 3(2)||Case C-200/02, Chen v Secretary of State for the Home Department|
|Finance Act 2000 (c.17)||Corporation tax rules||Case C-254/96, ICI v Colmer. Amendments to these rules also a result of a wide ranging modernisation.|
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