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Any extension of the term of protection for sound recordings would require a change to the EC directive which harmonises copyright terms across the EU and there are currently no proposals for such an amendment to this directive. Those who have rights
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in sound recordings have, nevertheless, made representations to us for an increased term of protection and, in considering whether or not to support this, we will be assessing the impact on all stakeholders.
Mr. Sutcliffe: The UK credit market remains one of the most competitive in the world. Although figures show that borrowing is increasing in real terms, DTI commissioned research indicates that the vast majority of consumers manage their credit successfully, using it as an enabler, and do not become over-indebted.
The Government is not, however, complacent and a number of departments are working together to ensure that those needing help have access to it. Further details can be found in the Tackling Over-indebtedness: Action Plan 2004" published July 2004 which is in the Libraries of the House and in the forthcoming 2005 update to be published shortly.
Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what guidance he has given to UK companies on their responsibilities (a) to report on and (b) to mitigate their impact on (i) communities and (ii)the environment. 
Malcolm Wicks: DTI has introduced an Operating and Financial Review which, with effect from financial years beginning on or after 1 April 2005, will require directors of quoted companies to report on the development and performance of their business during the year, and on the key factors likely to affect development and performance in future. In preparing their OFR, directors will need to consider factors such as environment and community issues, insofar as these are relevant for an understanding of the business. The Accounting Standards Board has issued a reporting standard and implementation guidance to help companies prepare their OFR.
We also encourage companies to address the social and environmental impacts of their activities over and above compliance with minimum legal standards. The Government website on CSRwww.csr.gov.ukoutlines our approach to promoting responsible business practice.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with the European Commission regarding EU-ACP economic partnership agreements since March. 
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I discussed economic partnership agreement negotiations with Peter Mandelson, the EU Trade Commissioner. My officials have discussed the negotiations bilaterally with the Commission and in council working groups.
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Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the European Commission regarding reform of Article 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in relation to trade agreements, with particular reference to the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements. 
Ian Pearson: Officials have discussed suggestions for reforming Article 24 of the GATT with the European Commission. Following consultation with member states, the EU recently tabled a draft submission in the WTO on reform of the article, including proposals for special and differential treatment for developing countries such as the ACP.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with the European Commission on the letter from Mr. Peter Carl, of the European Commission, to Heads of Delegations of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries of 11 April 2005, on the UK Government's position on EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements. 
Ian Pearson: Ministers and officials are in regular contact with the European Commission on a broad range of issues associated with the Economic Partnership Agreements being negotiated with the ACP countries, including the issues raised in the UK position paper.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions his Department has had with (a) Eurotunnel (i) staff and (ii) creditors and (b) other Government Departments on Eurotunnel in the last 12months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: In February this year the DTI launched a consultation to take forward the work and family commitments that were announced in last December's pre-Budget report and the 10-year child care strategy. In the consultation we asked for views on the case for extending the right to request flexible working to carers of sick and disabled adults and to parents of older children. The consultation closed on 25 May 2005 and we are analysing the responses. These will be published, alongside the Government response, on our website at www.dti.gov.uk/workandfamilies.
Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many officials currently in the Department received honours in the recent Queen's Birthday Honours List; and at what rank of honour. 
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the recent appeal court ruling in the case of Maguire v. Harland and Wolff that no compensation is owed to a former shipyard worker whose wife died of cancer contracted by secondary exposure to asbestos dust; and if he will make a statement. 
In reaching its decision in this case, the Court of Appeal applied the principles of the current law of negligence to the particular circumstances of the case. The Government have no plans to change the law in this area.
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