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Roger Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what plans the Government have to tighten end-use controls over the re-export of UK supplies components as part of their review of export control legislation. 
Malcolm Wicks: As the hon. Member is aware, I announced on 18 June 2007 a review of the export control legislation introduced in 2004 under the Export Control Act 2002. This includes a public consultation which seeks comments on the impact and effectiveness of the legislation and whether there is a need to change or enhance the controls.
In these circumstances I am unable to comment substantively on the potential for changes to the controls as this would risk prejudging the outcome of the review. However, the consultation document includes options for amending the Military End-Use Control, which currently applies in specified circumstances to components that are not controlled elsewhere in the legislation.
Where items that are being exported are licensable under current UK export control legislation, all known relevant factors, including whether the items are for incorporation into other equipment for re-export to a third country, are taken into account in the assessment of licence applications. When it is clear that military goods will be re-exported or that the equipment into which they are incorporated will be re-exported to a country covered by a full scope military arms embargo, the application for those items will be refused under the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.
Respondents to the consultation will be able to provide their views, reasoning and evidence on this issue, as well as raising any other areas where they believe that the Government should consider changing the controls.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations the South East England Development Agency has made to the South East England regional assembly on the level of the yearly house building target in the Regional Spatial Strategy. 
Mr. Timms: Following the South East England regional assemblys adoption of housing growth options in October 2004, SEEDA commissioned work to explore the needs of the regions economy. This established that maintaining present economic growth rates would require up to 45,000 new houses per annum, and that improvements in productivity and economic activity rates could reduce this requirement to 34,800 new houses per year while maintaining overall growth rates.
On the basis of this work (which was published by SEEDA), SEEDAs board agreed in March 2005 a response to the Regional Spatial Strategy consultation draft (published in April 2005) which made the case for a minimum average level of housing growth of 34,800 units per year 2006-26. The regional assembly adopted a proposed profile of 32,000 units per annum for 2006-11 and 36,000 units per annum for 2011-26.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the latest annual figure is for the trade deficit in manufacturing; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce it. 
Mr. Timms: The Office for National Statistics estimates that the UK trade deficit in manufactures (Standard International Trade Classification sections 5 to 8) was about £51.9 billion in 2006 on a balance of payments basis.
The Government are strongly committed to the development of a high-value modern manufacturing sector which competes effectively in global markets. We have been successful in providing a stable macro-economic framework in which business can prosper and grow and are taking action through the manufacturing strategy to enable manufacturers to move to high value-added production through the application of science and innovation and the development of world class skills.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the Prime Minister's oral answer of 4 July 2007, Official Report, columns 954-5, whether the Government have made a decision to build new nuclear power stations; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Before we make a decision on nuclear, we are committed to consulting. Our nuclear consultation was published on 23 May. The Government have a preliminary view that it would be in the public interest to give energy companies the option to consider nuclear alongside other forms of low carbon electricity generation, but have not made a decision.
Mr. Anthony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the effect of the renewables obligation on carbon dioxide emissions. 
Malcolm Wicks: Between 2002-03, when the RO was introduced, and 2005-06the latest date for which figures are available from Ofgemthe RO was responsible for 37.9 TWh of generation from renewable sources. This amounts to a saving of 5.2 MtC.
Renewables generation assets, such as wind farms, which have been built to take advantage of the RO will continue in operation after the RO has come to an end, providing further savings beyond 2026-27.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions he has had with (a) the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, (b) the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and (c) the wildlife trusts on the proposal to build a Severn tidal barrage. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 24 July 2007]: There is no specific proposal at present to build a Severn barrage, so I have not had any discussions with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) or any of the wildlife trusts on this issue.
However, the Sustainable Development Commission, with financial support from various parties including my Department, is undertaking a major study of tidal power in the UK. The study is looking at various options for harnessing the potential tidal energy resource that exists around the UK, including within the Severn estuary.
The study has included a programme of stakeholder and public engagement, as part of which the SDC has held discussions with the RSPB and the statutory conservation agencies. The SDC's final report is expected to be published in September and further details of the study can be seen at
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will ask the Sustainable Development Commission to take evidence from right hon. and hon. Members representing constituencies in the areas around the river Severn as part of its study of tidal power in the UK. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 24 July 2007]: A central part of the Sustainable Development Commission's (SDC) work has been a public and stakeholder engagement programme. Although not aimed exclusively at Members for the Severn region constituencies, a stakeholder workshop held in Cardiff and an online forum on the SDC website have provided Members with the opportunity to contribute to the study.
Given that the study is now at an advanced stage and with the final report expected in September, I am doubtful about whether the SDC would find it reasonably practicable to accommodate such a request. However, Members are free to directly approach the SDC, with which any decision on whether or not to accept further representations rests.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will (a) initiate and (b) evaluate research on the effect on the UK economy of the diminishing size of the UK merchant navys (i) number of British-registered ships, (ii) number of UK merchant navy officers and (iii) UK maritime skills base; and if he will make a statement. [R] 
Government reports and statistics monitor changes in the UK merchant navy and the effect of these changes on the UK economy on a regular basis. The Department for Transports (DfT) annual Maritime Statistics records the size of the UK merchant fleet.
In recent years, the UK registered fleet has not been diminishing, as the hon. Member suggests. Between December 1997 and March 2007 the number of UK registered ships increased by over a quarter to over 1,900 (of which 1,459 are merchant vessels), while their deadweight capacity increased fourfold from 3.5 million tonnes to 14 million tonnes.
The DfT has commissioned London Metropolitan University to produce an annual assessment of the number of UK merchant navy officers, ratings, and new trainees, published in United Kingdom Seafarers Analysis. The DfT has also commissioned two studies from Cardiff University in 1996 and 2003 on The UK economys requirements for people with experience of working at sea. In addition the Inland Revenue and the DfT produced a Post Implementation Review of Tonnage Tax in 2004.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women aged (a) under 16, (b) 16 to 18, (c) 19 to 24, (d) 25 to 29, (e) 30 to 34, (f) 35 to 39 and (g) over 40 years of age in (i) Essex strategic health authority and (ii) England and Wales who had an abortion in 2006 had (A) no children, (B) one child, (C) two children, (D) three children, (E) four children and (F) five or more children. 
|(i) Total abortions for residents of Essex PCTs( 1) by number of previous births, 2006|
|Total previous pregnancies that resulted in a live or still birth|
|A ge( 2)||0||1||2||3||4||5 and more||Total|
|(1) Totals shown relate to PCTs for Mid Essex, North East Essex, South East Essex, South West Essex and West Essex. (2) Age groups are shown as published so as not to overlap ages and (for reasons of confidentiality) reveal small numbers, suppressed value or where a presented total would reveal a suppressed value.|
|(ii) Total abortions by number of previous births, England and Wales, 2006|
|Total previous pregnancies that resulted in a live or still birth|
|A ge( 1)||0||1||2||3||4||5 and more||Total|
|(1) Age groups are shown as published so as not to overlap ages and (for reasons of confidentiality) reveal small numbers, suppressed value or where a presented total would reveal a suppressed value.|
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