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In view of the concerns shared by the members of the G7, including the United Kingdom, about the potential implications of recent movements in the euro for the world economy, the G7 authorities undertook concerted intervention in the markets on 22 September.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government's approach to EU tax issues is based on fair tax competition, not tax harmonisation. At the recent Feira European Council in June, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor persuaded the EU to accept exchange of information rather than a withholding tax on cross-border savings income as the way forward. This illustrated the success of the Government's policy of constructive engagement on EU issues.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: In June 1999 the EU established a new anti-fraud office, OLAF. The new office has powers to investigate internal fraud within all the institutions, has strong guarantees of its independence within the Commission, can also recommend action to be taken as a result of its reports, and will report to the Council and European Parliament on progress.
At the same time, work on administrative reform of the European Commission is progressing broadly in line with the Commission's White Paper on reforming the Commission which was published in March this year.
The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): The timetable for a criminal trial is set by the judge at the Plea and Directions Hearing. In fixing the trial date, the judge takes into account the venue for the hearing, the time estimate and submissions made by the parties. Such decisions are made by the judiciary in their own independent sphere and may not be called in question by the executive.
Copies of the statement made by Mr Justice Henriques, issued through the Lord Chancellor's Department Press Office, giving his reasons for setting a trial date of 6 June 2001, together with copies of the transcript of the hearing, have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): We have no plans to disseminate advice based on the Interim Guidance on the Inspection and Maintenance of Multi-Storey Car Parks, but my department will consider the need to disseminate the findings of the final report in due course.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The charter will be a political declaration and is not legally binding. Article 3(2) of the draft European Charter on Fundamental Rights specifies that using "the human body and its parts as such" as a source of financial gain is prohibited. The text of Article 21 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine includes a similar provision. The explanatory report to that convention points out that, although organs and tissues should not give rise to financial gains, technical acts which are performed on the basis of these items may legitimately give rise to reasonable remuneration. The Praesidium commentary on Article 3 notes that this Article was intended to reflect the principles of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine and hence that it would be subject to the same interpretation. Thus, permitting researchers to make financial gain from clinical solutions for, for example, the treatment of diseased or damaged tissues or organs which have been developed from research involving cell nuclear replacement ("therapeutic cloning") would not be inconsistent with Article 3(2).
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