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20 Oct 2005 : Column 1185W—continued

Departmental Vehicles

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many vehicles for which the Department is responsible are fitted with retreaded tyres. [17984]

Mr. Straw: Of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office services fleet of 38 vehicles, we only use retread tyres on our three trailers and on the back axle of our one rigid lorry. No retreads are used on the car or van fleets.

We are also responsible for the procurement of new vehicles for overseas posts, the specification for these vehicles always calls for new tyres and no new purchase vehicles have retread tyres.

Information on the tyre replacement policy of our operational fleet overseas is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

EU (Turkey's Accession)

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) surveys and (b) other measures of UK public opinion he has commissioned on Turkey's prospective accession to the European Union. [18482]

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Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not commissioned any surveys of UK public opinion on Turkey's prospective accession to the European Union. However, the Government closely follow the European Commission's Eurobarometer surveys and opinion polls conducted by various UK based newspapers and media groups.

European Constitution

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answers of 12 July 2005, Official Report, column 872W, on the EU constitution, if he will make a statement on the application of qualified majority under EU constitution article III-293 to the decision making process; which (a) themes and (b) regions have featured as areas of common foreign and security policy activity; who will arbitrate in areas of jurisdictional controversy between the EU Minister and a given member state; and what legal obligations follow a request by the EU Minister to be provided with a seat at international forums attended by the UK. [16320]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The hon. Member will be aware that, following the June European Council, the future of the constitutional treaty is uncertain.

Article III-293 of the EU constitutional treaty, which sets out the role of the European Council in defining the strategic interests and objectives of the Union in external policies, provides that the European Council shall act unanimously" not by qualified majority. Only European decisions defining a specifically identified Union action or position on these unanimously agreed strategic interests and objectives can be adopted by qualified majority, under article III-300(2(a)).

A wide range of themes and regions have already featured as areas of common foreign and security policy activity. However only three of these—Russia, Ukraine and Euromed—have had strategic interests and objectives identified for them in a manner similar to the provisions in article II-293.

Under article I-28.2 of the constitutional treaty the European Union Foreign Minister (EUFM) would carry out his role in common foreign and security policy as mandated by the Council"—ie the member states acting unanimously. Questions of jurisdictional controversy" between the EUFM and a member state would therefore be unlikely, and would undoubtedly be addressed and settled amicably in discussions in the Council.

There is no provision in the European Union constitutional treaty which places an obligation on member states or other international organisations to provide the EU Minister with a seat at international forums attended by the UK. My right hon. Friend the then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. MacShane), set out in more detail the relationship proposed by the constitutional treaty between the EU Foreign Ministers and international organisations, in a letter to the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Mr. Davies). A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library of the House (House of Commons reference: DEP 07/0072).
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Heads of State Meeting (Hampton Court)

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the attendees expected at the Informal Meeting of Heads of State or Government at Hampton Court Palace on 27 October; and what the agenda for the meeting is. [18682]

Mr. Straw [holding answer 17 October 2005]: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will set out the scope of the discussion in the letter of invitation to the Informal Meeting of Heads of State or Government. The principal attendees are Heads of State or Government, the President of the EU Commission and the Secretary General of the Council. The list of other attendees has yet to be finalised.


Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Libyan authorities regarding the possible transfer of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi from a Scottish jail; and if he will make a statement. [19428]

Dr. Howells: There has been no discussion with the Libyan authorities about Mr. al-Megrahi's transfer from a Scottish jail. The Government's position remains that, in relation to the Lockerbie trial, those tried and found guilty under Scottish law would serve their prison sentence in Scotland.

UK Ambassadors (Commonwealth)

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the names of the UK ambassadors in each Commonwealth country; and on what date each was appointed to the position. [19500]

Mr. Straw: The following table is of all current British High Commissioners to Commonwealth countries and shows the date they were appointed. Some Commonwealth members have Non-Resident High Commissioners (NR).
CountryHigh CommissionerDate appointed
Antigua and Barbuda (NR)John White
(Resident Barbados)
August 2001
AustraliaRight hon. Helen LiddellJuly 2005
The Bahamas (NR)Jeremy Cresswell (Resident Jamaica)July 2005
BangladeshAnwar ChoudhuryMay 2004
BarbadosJohn WhiteAugust 2001
BelizeAlan JonesNovember 2004
BotswanaFrank MartinOctober 2005
BruneiJohn SavilleMay 2005
CameroonRichard WildashJuly 2002
CanadaDavid ReddawayAugust 2003
CyprusPeter MillettJune 2005
Dominica (NR)John White
(Resident Barbados)
August 2001
FijiCharles MochanDecember 2002
The GambiaEric JenkinsonDecember 2002
GhanaGordon WetherellMarch 2004
Grenada (NR)John White
(Resident Barbados)
August 2001
GuyanaStephen HiscockAugust 2002
IndiaSir Michael ArthurOctober 2003
JamaicaJeremy CresswellJuly 2005
KenyaAdam WoodJuly 2005
Kiribati (NR)Charles Mochan
(Resident Fiji)
December 2002
Lesotho (NR)Right hon. Paul Boateng (Resident South Africa)August 2005
MalawiDavid PeareyNovember 2004
MalaysiaBruce CleghornNovember 2001
Maldives (NR)Stephen Evans
(Resident Sri Lanka)
August 2002
MaltaVincent FeanSeptember 2002
MauritiusAnthony GodsonNovember 2004
MozambiqueHoward ParkinsonDecember 2003
NamibiaAlasdair MacDermottApril 2002
Nauru (NR)Charles Mochan
(Resident Fiji)
December 2002
New ZealandRichard FellDecember 2001
NigeriaRichard GozneyJune 2004
PakistanMark Lyall GrantMay 2003
Papua New GuineaDavid Gordon-MacleodNovember 2003
Samoa (NR)Richard Fell
(Resident Wellington)
December 2001
SeychellesDiana SkingleJuly 2004
Sierra LeoneJohn MitchinerAugust 2003
SingaporeAlan CollinsDecember 2002
Solomon IslandsRichard LyneNovember 2004
South AfricaRight hon. Paul BoatengAugust 2005
Sri LankaStephen EvansAugust 2002
St. Kitts and Nevis (NR)John White
(Resident Barbados)
August 2001
St. Lucia (NR)John White
(Resident Barbados)
August 2001
St. Vincent and The Grenadines (NR)John White
(Resident Barbados)
August 2001
Swaziland (NR)Right hon. Paul Boateng (Resident South Africa)August 2005
TanzaniaDr. Andrew PocockOctober 2003
TongaPaul NesslingJanuary 2002
Trinidad and TobagoRon NashJanuary 2004
Tuvalu (NR)Charles Mochan (Resident Fiji)December 2002
Uganda(Jean) Francois GordonJuly 2005
VanuatuJoel Watson (Acting High Commissioner) (High Commissioner departed August 2005. Post due to close February 2006)August 2005
ZambiaAlistair HarrisonAugust 2002

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