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In reviewing our approach in this area we have taken into account the close historical, community and political ties between the United Kingdom and Ireland, along with the existence of the common travel area.

Those Irish prisoners whose cases are not considered exceptional, whose sentences have expired and who are currently in custodial detention awaiting deportation will be released over the next week. I have already asked that the necessary arrangements be put in place to ensure that these prisoners receive proper supervision on their release from the probation service.

Prevention of Terrorism

The Minister for Policing, Security and Community Safety (Mr. Tony McNulty): I am pleased to say that in accordance with section 14(3) and 14(5) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, Lord Carlile of Berriew QC has completed the report on the operation of the Act in 2006, which will be laid before the House today.

Prime Minister

Interception of Communications Commissioner/Intelligence Services Commissioner (Annual Reports)

The Prime Minister (Mr. Tony Blair): I have today laid before both Houses the report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner, the right hon. Sir Swinton Thomas, for 2005-06 (HC 315), and the report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner, the Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, for 2005-06 (HC 314). As has been the practice in previous years, some sensitive information has been excluded from the reports in accordance with section 58(6) and section 60(4) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

I am grateful to the Commissioners for their reports and the work that they have undertaken during their respective appointments.

Trade and Industry

Wind Farm (Suffolk Coast)

The Minister for Science and Innovation (Malcolm Wicks): The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has granted consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for the construction of the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm.

The consent is granted to Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Ltd., an Airtricity and Fluor joint venture. The development will be sited around 23 km from the Suffolk coast and has the potential to generate up to 500MW of electricity.

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The decision to grant consent was taken after a thorough consideration of the possible impacts of the project on a range of environmental and other issues and interests and of the advice received from a range of stakeholders, including statutory consultees on navigation and nature conservation issues. The Secretary of State concluded that the impacts
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envisaged by those making representations will either be of low significance or can be mitigated or avoided by the use of suitable conditions in the Electricity Act consent or in the licence for the project that is to be issued by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985.

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