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Written Ministerial Statements

Tuesday 10 January 2006


Court Fee Increases

The Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Ms Harriet Harman): The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the Baroness Ashton of Upholland, has made the following written ministerial statement in the other place today.

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Reserve Forces

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): I am announcing today that a new order has been made under section 54 of the Reserve Forces Act 1996, so that reservists may continue to be called out into service to support operations in Iraq. The new order is effective until 3 January 2007 and replaces the previous order that expired earlier this month.

During the course of the last year, some 2,000 reservists were called out and accepted into service to support operations in Iraq. Details of the next tranche of reservists to be called out were announced to the House on 6 December 2005, Official Report, column 86WS. Some 700 reservists are involved and they will be deployed to theatre from May, where the majority will complete six month tours. We remain very appreciative of the continuing support and commitment shown by reservists, their employers and their families.


Iraq: Export Licence System

The Minister for the Middle East (Dr. Kim Howells): The arms embargo in Iraq continues under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 with exemptions for supplies of arms and related matériel
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required by the Government of Iraq (GOI) or the Multi-National Force (MNF) to serve the purposes of the resolution.

Following a thorough review of its procedures for processing export licence applications to Iraq, Her Majesty's Government will consider as exempt from the embargo exports to the GOI, the MNF, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, diplomatic missions in Iraq and entities contracted or subcontracted to GOI or the MNF. Export licence applications to these end users will not therefore require the approval of the Gol or MNF prior to approval of the application. For exports serving the purposes of UNSCR 1546 to entities other than these, Her Majesty's Government will seek the approval of the GOI or MNF to ensure that the proposed export is exempt from the embargo. Her Majesty's Government will keep the Government of Iraq informed on a quarterly basis of all exports of military equipment to Iraq.

Rendition: Additional Information

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Jack Straw): My reply of 12 December 2005, Official Report, column 1652W to the question put by the right hon. and learned Member for North-East Fife (Sir Menzies Campbell) stated that officials had identified a few instances during the administration of President Clinton where the US authorities had requested permission to render a detainee through UK territory or airspace. I added that officials continued to search the records.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have now completed a search of all relevant records back to May 1997. This search has turned up one further case, also in 1998; the Government declined a US request to refuel a flight carrying two detainees in route to the US.


Respect Action Plan

The Minister for Policing, Security and Community Safety (Hazel Blears): I have placed in the Library of the House a copy of the "Respect Action Plan", which is launched today.

The "Respect Action Plan" sets out the Government's intention to broaden the current approach to tackling antisocial behaviour through addressing disrespect in every walk of life. We intend to deepen the approach by tackling the causes of antisocial behaviour, intervening early where problems occur and the agenda goes further than before by empowering communities themselves to challenge disrespect and encourage positive behaviour.

Broadening our approach will be accomplished through measures which include addressing school discipline and attendance. The plan stresses the critical role of schools and parents in tackling disrespectful behaviour, persistent truancy and inadequate supervision of excluded children. We also want to ensure that young people are active and learn how to make a positive impact as individuals in our society. There is a strong emphasis on expanding the role of sport, constructive activities and volunteering as positive routes to nurture a culture of respect among young people.
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The cross-Government drive to address problem families and support good parenting is at the heart of our strategy to build a code of respect for the 21st century. By deepening our approach, we intend to intervene in families in crisis and provide support and practical advice. The plan promises a major new programme of projects to work intensively with the most problematic families who can cause such distress within our communities

And we will take our approach to dealing with antisocial behaviour further by ensuring that respect is promoted across government and throughout our programmes, funding and inspection regimes. Neighbourhoods will be empowered to ensure that local services deal quickly and effectively with the disrespectful behaviour of a minority. Our aim is to bring speedy, visible and reparative justice through a raft of measures which extend the powers available to address low-level crime and antisocial behaviour.

The "Respect Action Plan" is available on the web at: www.respect.gov.uk

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