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15 July 2009 : Column 451Wcontinued
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions the Government have (a) voted against and (b) abstained on a proposal at the Council of Ministers for which a qualified majority has been obtained. 
Chris Bryant: The Council of the European Union publicises these figures on their website. These can be found at:
The figures for 2008 are eight abstentions and zero votes against. The same report shows that 270 legislative acts were adopted in 2008.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to publish his Department's resource accounts for 2008-09. 
Chris Bryant: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Resource Accounts 2008-09 were laid before Parliament and published as a combined document with the Departmental Report 2009 on 30 June 2009.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost to the public purse of his Department's consular services was in each of the last 12 years. 
Chris Bryant: Consular Services are funded from fees and not from general taxation. Our aim is to ensure that we cover our costs from fee income. The exception is capital funds which are funded from tax. However the yearly cost of capital, that is depreciation and interest, is covered by fee income.
Cost of assistance to UK citizens abroad is covered by a levy of approx. £15 on all passports sold in the UK by the Identity and Passport Service and overseas by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). For around £1.50 a year, every British passport holder has at their disposal a global network of professionals who often provide the first line of support when things go wrong.
Each crisis response, as agreed by HM Treasury (HMT), which costs greater than £150,000, is funded from the Emergency Disaster Reserve (EDR). The EDR funds are made up of a small fee levied on the passport price of approximately £1. These funds are held by the Treasury. The FCO has to make a substantive case to HMT to access these funds.
For a fee we also issue passports overseas, as well as emergency and temporary passports.
We charge for legalisation services to business and the public in the UK and overseas.
There are another 60 notarial services that we provide overseas. Examples include birth and death registrations.
The cost of Consular Services for the last eight years is shown as follows. The cost of collecting data beyond this period would be prohibitive, as it is not available on our current systems.
This excludes the cost of crisis activity which is funded directly from the Treasury:
|Period||Cost (£ million)|
Consular is continually looking at ways to bring costs into closer alignment with income by delivering value-for money services, promoting efficiencies and reviewing its fees.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Eritrean Government on arrests of UK nationals in Eritrea; and how many such people have been arrested there in the last five years. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: From our consular records we are aware of four British nationals who have been arrested or detained in Eritrea since 2004.
In one case we were informed of the detention only after the individual had been released. In the other three cases we contacted the authorities to clarify the situation and requested consular access.
Of those three cases, two were subsequently released. We have been unable to confirm the release of the other individual, as the Eritrean authorities do not acknowledge the UK's interest in the person concerned (a dual British-Eritrean national resident in Eritrea) as a British national, and will not discuss the case with consular staff, despite representations.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to assist the Indian Government in implementing witness protection programmes for Christians in Orissa. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We have no plans to discuss with the Indian Government the protection of Christians called as witnesses in trials relating to the recent violence in Orissa.
The EU maintains a constructive dialogue with the Indian authorities about human rights and minority rights issues, which includes the situation in Orissa and its neighbouring states following the violence in 2008. Officials from our high commission have an active part in these discussions.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the government of India to urge that Mr Manoj Pradhan, Member of the Legislative Assembly in Orissa, is brought to trial on the charges which have been made against him. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Since this is a legal matter for the relevant Indian authorities we have no plans to raise this bilaterally with the Indian Government.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has had discussions with the Indian government on sexual violence against Dalit women in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have not discussed sexual violence against Dalit women directly with the Indian Government in the last 12 months. However, UK officials in New Delhi have actively participated in the ongoing EU dialogue with the Indian authorities on minority rights, including Dalit related issues.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the UK's business competitiveness in international markets in each of the last three years; and against which competitors each assessment was made. 
Chris Bryant [holding answer 3 July 2009]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, on 13 July 2009, Official Report, column 190-91W.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of (a) Israel and (b) Egypt on the transport of goods into Gaza through crossing points. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The UK is extremely concerned with the current humanitarian situation in Gaza. It is vital that aid reaches the people in who need it. We will continue to press the Israeli Government into easing border restrictions and ensuring there is better humanitarian access into the area. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made this clear in his meeting with the Israeli Defence Minister-Ehud Barak on 6 July 2009 and also in his conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister-Avigdor Lieberman on 30 June 2009.
My predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Bill Rammell), raised the issue of access through the Rafah crossing for humanitarian aid providers with the Egyptian Government when he was in Egypt on 21 May 2009. The Egyptian Government have told us that all aid to Gaza from Egypt should be channelled through the Egyptian Red Crescent.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will instigate a public inquiry into the conduct of the British colonial administration in Kenya during the 1950s emergency in that country; what recent representations his Department has received on the treatment of Kenyans by the British colonial administration in this period from (a) (i) Governments and (ii) citizens of Kenya and (b) others; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: There is no public inquiry planned into the conduct of the British colonial administration in Kenya during the 1950s.
We are aware that a group of Mau Mau veterans, backed by the Kenya Human Rights Commission, plan to sue the Government for alleged human rights abuses carried out by the Kenyan colonial administration during the emergency period. Our high commissioner in Nairobi met their representatives before they travelled to London last month and noted their right to take their case to the courts. They have also written to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on this issue.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies on nuclear non-proliferation of the recent agreement between Russian President Medvedev and US President Obama on nuclear arms reduction. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We welcome the 'joint understanding' by Presidents Obama and Medvedev on 6 July 2009 to reduce the US and Russian nuclear arsenals to below 1,700 warheads each and their commitment to co-operate more closely on non-proliferation.
A reduction in the size of US and Russian arsenals is one of the conditions necessary for moving towards a world free from nuclear weapons. The UK will continue to work towards this long-term goal and the strengthening of all three pillars of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, while tackling the issue of nuclear security.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's policy is on anti-religious conversion laws in (a) Sri Lanka and (b) India. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We continue to monitor religious freedom in India and Sri Lanka. A wide range of issues including religious freedom were raised at the last round of the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue which took place in New Delhi on 27 February 2009. In addition the Government work bilaterally with the Government of India in supporting efforts to tackle human rights issues. We regularly raise a wide range of human rights issues with the Sri Lankan Government including any legislation that reduces religious freedoms protected by international human rights law. We are aware that the draft "Forcible Conversions Bill", relating to religious freedoms Sri Lanka, is currently awaiting further discussion in the Sri Lankan Parliament. The EU expressed its concern at the draft Bill in a statement on 23 February 2009.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what visits have been made to Tamil refugee camps in Sri Lanka by representatives of his Department in the last 12 months; and what recent representations he has made to the government of Sri Lanka on the operation of those camps. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 14 July 2009]: Representatives from our high commission in Colombo regularly visit the camps for internally-displaced persons in northern Sri Lanka, most recently on 16 to 18 June 2009. We take every available opportunity to urge the Sri Lankan Government to ensure the camps meet international standards. We continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to work in partnership with the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian agencies to address the ongoing needs of internally displaced persons and to ensure they are able to return to their homes as soon as possible.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many deaths resulting from an eating disorder were recorded in (a) 2004, (b) 2005, (c) 2006, (d) 2007 and (e) 2008; and if she will make a statement. 
Angela E. Smith: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.
Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated July 2009:
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many deaths resulting from an eating disorder were recorded in (a) 2004, (b) 2005, (c) 2006, (d) 2007 and (e) 2008. (286696)
The table attached provides the number of deaths where an eating disorder was the underlying cause of death, in England and Wales, from 2004 to 2008.
It is likely that these figures underestimate the actual number of deaths where an eating disorder was involved. This is because deaths registered after a coroner's inquest usually state the immediate physical condition which caused death as the underlying cause, and not any mental or behavioural disorder which may have led to that condition.
|Table 1: Number of deaths where an eating disorder was the underlying cause of death,( 1) England and Wales,( 2) 2004-08( 3,4)|
|(1) Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code F50 (Eating disorders).|
(2) Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents.
(3) Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.
(4) Figures for deaths registered in 2008 are provisional.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of the working age population in employment in the UK consisted of (a) UK nationals, (b) UK born people, (c) non-UK nationals, (d) non-UK EU nationals and (e) non-EU nationals in (i) each year since 1992 and (ii) the last four quarters for which figures are available. 
Angela E. Smith: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.
Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated July 2009:
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what proportion of the working age population in employment in the UK consisted of (a) UK nationals, (b) UK born people, (c) non-UK nationals, (d) non-UK EU nationals and (e) non-EU nationals in (i) each year since 1992 and (ii) the last four quarters for which figures are available. (286460)
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