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9 Jan 2007 : Column 496W—continued

Powered Mobility Products: Insurance

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to grant retailers of powered mobility products covered under the industry code of practice the right to sell insurance without requiring Financial Services Authority accreditation. [113006]

Ed Balls [holding answer 8 January 2007]: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) assumed responsibility for the regulation of general insurance on 14 January 2005. The introduction of the FSA's regime served to implement the EU's Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD) 2002/92/EC in the UK.

The IMD requires the UK to regulate various insurance mediation activities in connection with contracts of insurance, including long-term insurance business, commercial insurance and reinsurance. The activities required to be regulated include selling and administering such insurance contracts by intermediaries. The IMD does not apply where a number of specified conditions are met, however the selling of insurance along with powered mobility products is not capable of meeting all of these conditions. In general, those undertaking insurance mediation must either be authorised to do so by the FSA, be an appointed representative of an authorised firm or be a member of a designated professional body that allows the firm to be exempt from authorisation.

Sainsbury Review

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date Lord Sainsbury agreed to conduct the Sainsbury Review that he announced in the Pre-Budget Report on 6 December. [109992]

John Healey: Details of the announcement of the Sainsbury review of science and innovation are set out in the No. 10 press release available at:

Small Breweries Relief Scheme

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will calculate the average number of employees of those businesses in receipt of the full 50 per cent. relief under the small breweries relief scheme. [112934]

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John Healey: While the Government gather data on the performance of the brewing industry, including the performance of small breweries, employment data are not routinely collected. However, figures from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) show that around 130 new breweries have opened since the introduction of small breweries relief, and that these have brought with them over 1,000 new jobs, many in economically deprived rural communities.

State School Cadet Units

Mr. Harper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, Official Report, column 453W, on state school cadet units, on what dates (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department met (i) their counterparts from the Department for Education and Skills and (ii) other interested parties to discuss his proposals to form state school cadet units. [112985]

Mr. Timms: Treasury Ministers and officials are in regular dialogue with other Departments on a range of issues.

Winter Deaths

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many excess winter deaths there were in Stroud constituency in each of the last 10 years. [112888]

John Healey: The information requested fall within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 9 January 2007:

Table 1: excess winter deaths( 1,2) in Stroud parliamentary constituency( 3) ,1995-96 to 2004-05
Winter Excess deaths





















(1) The estimated number of excess winter deaths is the difference between the number of deaths during the four winter months (December to March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding four months (August to November) and the following four months (April to July). Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
(2) Data are based on deaths occurring in each month.
(3) Using boundaries as of 2005 for all years shown.

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

British Overseas Territories

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what stage has been reached in proposed constitutional reform in each of the British Overseas Territories. [113677]

Mr. Hoon: The present situation in the constitutional review process in each of the Overseas Territories is as follows:


British Virgin Islands

Cayman Islands

Falkland Islands



St. Helena and Dependencies

Turks and Caicos Islands

There are currently no proposed constitutional reviews for Bermuda; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; Pitcairn Islands; and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.

Falkland Islands

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there are any plans for a formal visit by Her Majesty the Queen to the Falkland Islands. [113681]

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Margaret Beckett: There are currently no plans for Her Majesty the Queen to visit the Falkland Islands.

Iraq Study Group

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) when (a) the Prime Minister and (b) HM Ambassadors to Washington and Baghdad were first invited to make submissions to the Iraq Study Group; and on what date each submission was made; [106774]

(2) if she will publish a transcript of the evidence given to the Iraq Study Group by HM Ambassadors to Washington and Baghdad. [106775]

Margaret Beckett: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister was invited in early October to speak to the Iraq Study Group and duly did so by videoconference from London on 14 November.

Our ambassador in Washington, Sir David Manning, was invited in April to speak to the Iraq Study Group, and duly did so on 18 May.

Our ambassador in Baghdad, Dominic Asquith, was invited to meet the Group in August, and did so, when they visited Baghdad in September.

These were all discussions, not formal submissions or evidence sessions, and no verbatim transcripts exist. The discussions covered a range of issues including the political situation in Iraq, the process of transferring security responsibility to the Iraqi security forces, economic development and the involvement of the international community and international institutions.

Legal Advice

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been spent by the Department on external legal advice in each of the past five years. [109108]

Margaret Beckett: The amount spent by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on external legal advice from counsel and solicitors in private practice by way of disbursements via the HM Treasury Solicitor in each of the past five years is as follows:












The FCO does not hold information on aggregate amounts spent on any other external legal advice.


Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Nigerian Government on the continuing destruction of churches in Jigawa State. [113335]

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Mr. McCartney: We are concerned by all reports of inter-religious conflict in Nigeria. Unfortunately, clashes between religious groups are not uncommon. The primary underlying cause of the conflict in northern Nigeria is rivalry between ethnic groups over the control of resources and power.

Our High Commission in Abuja is aware of a local dispute in Dutse in Jigawa state, which occurred on 19 and 20 September 2006, during which a small number of people were injured and churches were burnt down. The police quickly took control and imposed a curfew. There have been no further outbreaks of violence in the area and this appears to be an isolated situation, which boiled over. Our High Commission in Abuja regularly raises incidents of religious conflict with the Nigerian authorities but no representations have been made about this specific incident.

My noble Friend Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, recently met with representatives of Christian and Muslim communities at an interfaith seminar in Kaduna to see the work they are undertaking to build bridges to better interfaith understanding. We continue to urge restraint and reconciliation on all sides and stress that intervention must be carried out with full respect for human rights.

Supporting measures to address religious conflict is also a key part of our conflict prevention strategy for Nigeria. We are funding projects to build trust between Nigeria's various religious communities. This includes support to the excellent work of Coventry Cathedral on building trust and understanding at grass-roots level between different religious and ethnic communities, which has contributed to a drop in the level of violence and an increased level of dialogue between Christians and Muslims. We are also funding the work of the Bridge Builders Foundation, a mixed Christian and Muslim organisation operating in northern Nigeria, to look into the causes of recent conflict between Christians and Muslims. They are in the process of setting up early warning mechanisms in all the northern states to prevent future conflict.

North Korea

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contributions she is making to international efforts to ensure that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (a) suspends operations at its reactors, (b) readmits international nuclear inspectors, (c) reports its nuclear facilities and (d) closes its nuclear testing site. [112846]

Mr. McCartney: The Government's work in raising awareness of the scale and nature of the nuclear threat posed by the actions of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) helped UN Resolution 1718 to pass quickly through the UN Security Council. The UK was able to inform discussions about what actions the international community would be able to take. Resolution 1718 made clear that the DPRK should: cease immediately all further nuclear testing; observe a moratorium on nuclear and missile testing; and return to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and International Atomic Energy
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Agency (IAEA) safeguards, thus enabling IAEA inspectors back in to the DPRK and reports to be made on its facilities.

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of claims of senior North Korean officials that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a nuclear state. [113043]

Mr. McCartney: Under the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a nuclear weapon state is defined as a state which manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device prior to 1 January 1967. Nuclear weapon states are defined under Article IX.3 of the NPT; these are the UK, US, France, China and Russia. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) already possesses nuclear fuel cycle capabilities and a civil nuclear power generating programme. And on 14 October 2006, following a partially successful nuclear test, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1718 urging the DPRK to cease immediately all further nuclear testing, observe a moratorium on nuclear and missile testing and rejoin the NPT.

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