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Lord Hunt of Chesterton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: As announced by my honourable friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, (Dr Moonie) in the other place, on 9 November 2000, (Official Report, column 326W), the Met Office has chosen Exeter Business Park as the preferred site for its new operational and administrative headquarters.

Whilst no direct consultation has taken place on the choice of preferred site itself, this choice was taken by the Met Office in the best interests of its customers, both in the public and private sectors. These customers have repeatedly made it clear that, whilst forecast accuracy and service quality are high and continually improving, they remain concerned about the affordability of the Met Office's services and the costs of maintaining and developing its underpinning core capability.

Part of the reason for choosing Exeter as the preferred site was the opportunity to reduce costs significantly without compromising quality, so that the benefits could be passed on to customers.

European Charter of Human Rights

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The two statements are consistent. The EU is already obliged to respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the ECHR and resulting from the

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constitutional traditions common to the member states; and the ECJ is responsible for ensuring that this happens. That obligation to respect fundamental rights was first given treaty status at Maastricht.

The ECJ can and does look at all kinds of sources. It does not follow that the charter will itself become legally binding as a result. The fact that there is language in the charter does not mean that the ECJ has to take it into account. It would only become manadatory for the ECJ to take account of the charter if it were incorporated into the treaties or otherwise made legally binding. We and others have made our opposition to that clear.

US National Missile Defence System and China

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their evaluation of any negative relationship between the development of a United States national missile defence system and the willingness of China to work constructively with other nuclear weapon states on strategic arms control measures; and what representations they are making to the United States Government in this respect. [HL4649]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The US administration has repeatedly made clear that its proposals for national missile defence have not been designed with China in mind, and has engaged in dialogue with China on this and related issues. For our part, we have discussed the issue with both the US and China in numerous bilateral exchanges.

The Government are keen to see early progress on the various nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation steps agreed at the 2000 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. In particular, we want to see negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut Off treaty started without further delay at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, and we continue to urge all states concerned to agree on a work programme to make this possible.


Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the projected manning state, in terms of quality and numbers, of UNAMSIL for the months of January and February is satisfactory. [HL4637]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Secretary-General has plans in hand for the transition phase of UNAMSIL, as contingents from India and Jordan prepare for departure. It is expected that movements planned between December and February should leave UNAMSIL's overall strength unchanged, or enhanced, by the end of the period.

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Turkey: ECHR Judgments

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What recommendations they and the European Union will be making to Turkey following the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Ozgur Gundem v. Turkey and Kilic v. Turkey concerning freedom of expression. [HL4634]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The implementation of these ECHR judgments is being considered by the Committee of Ministers (COM), which under Article 46 is responsible for supervising the execution of all judgments of the court. The Government accept that the COM must monitor all judgments and take the necessary measures to ensure they are implemented. It is not our practice to comment on the detail of cases at this stage of the process.

The general issue of freedom of expression is included as a priority for action in the short term (2001) in the draft EU/Turkey Accession Partnership. The UK fully supports this, and looks to Turkey to take it forward in its National Plan for the Adoption of the Acquis.

Cayman Islands: CPA Visit

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 8 November (WA 152) about the recent visit by the United Kingdom Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to the Cayman Islands, what notice the Governor received of the visit; whether he took any of the relevant period as leave; and, if so, why he took leave at that time. [HL4610]

Baroness Scotand of Asthal: The dates for the CPA visit were set after the Governor's arrangements to visit the UK for a number of duty calls and annual leave had been made. It was not possible for these to be rearranged, as the Governor was not able to leave the Cayman Islands until after my own visit and had to return in time to dissolve the Legislative Assembly and preside over electoral arrangements. The Governor informed the Cayman Island's UK Representative when the CPA visit was first proposed of his absence from the territory during August and early September. The CPA visit was organised by the Cayman Branch of the CPA, not the Governor's office, in the knowledge that the Governor would not be present. At the time of the visit the Governor was carrying out official duties in London.

Yugoslavia: Lifting of EU Sanctions

Lord Shepherd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What changes have been made to European Union sanctions in relation to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. [HL4606]

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Following the election of Vojislav Kostunica as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), European Union Foreign Ministers agreed at the General Affairs Council on 9 October to revise EU sanctions against the FRY and to retain specific targeted measures.

The EU oil embargo and flight ban were lifted with effect from 9 October.

On 10 November the Council of the EU adopted a Common Position to restrict financial sanctions and the visa ban to Milosevic and persons associated with him.

The provisions on financial sanctions were implemented by an EC Regulation adopted on 10 November. This Regulation repeals EC Regulations 1294/99 and 607/2000 as well as Article 2 of EC Regulation 926/98. The Regulation will come into force this week with its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

The new Regulation provides that all funds held in the EU belonging to individuals listed in the annex to the Regulation shall be frozen and that no funds shall be made available, directly or indirectly, to or for the benefit of any person listed in the annex.

Under the new Regulation, all EU financial sanctions in relation to FRY companies will be lifted. All EU restrictions on the provision of export credit support finance and on investment in the FRY will also be lifted.

UK legislation providing penalties for breaches of the financial sanctions will be made to take account of the new Regulation.

The individuals subject to financial sanctions are indentical to those subject to the EU visa ban, which is the subject of a Council Decision of 10 November.

The EU arms embargo and embargo on the supply to the FRY of equipment which might be used for internal repression or terrorism are unaffected. The UN arms embargo against the FRY and Prohibition on the arming and training for terrorist activities there remain in force.

"Airwave" Police Radio Service

Lord Haskel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will announce funding allocations to police forces taking up the new police radio service "Airwave" in 2001-2002.[HL4817]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): Earlier this year, my right honourable friend the Home Secretary announced that the Government were making provision of £500 million over three years to meet the costs of a new police radio service known as "Airwave". All police authorities which have signed their service contracts for the new service will benefit from this funding. This will relieve them of a significant burden that would otherwise have had to be met from their policing budgets.

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Those forces which feature early in the roll-out programme and whose authorities have signed their service contracts will receive the following allocations in 2001-02. The remaining authorities which have signed their service contracts will receive their allocations in the subsequent two years.

Allocation of Airwave Grant for 2001-02
Year 1

Force£000s Capital£000s Revenue
Lancashire Constabulary4,9222,557
Greater Manchester Police (GMP)10,2595,329
North Yorkshire Police2,1091,096
West Mercia Constabulary3,0951,608
Gloucestershire Constabulary1,684875
Leicestershire Constabulary2,7961,453
Suffolk Constabulary1,886980
Devon & Cornwall Constabulary4,7552,470
Avon & Somerset Constabulary4,5972,388
Derbyshire Constabulary2,7891,449
Durham ConstabularyContractsNot signed
Dorset Police1,913994
Humberside Police3,1011,611
Northumbria Police5,7712,998
Cumbria Constabulary1,650676
Wiltshire Constabulary1,769724
Cambridgeshire Constabulary2,052840
Thames Valley Police6,1382,514
Gwent Constabulary1,885772
Dyfed-Powys Police1,4080
Hertfordshire Constabulary3,0450
South Wales Constabulary4,4320
Total England & Wales70,14330,340

A further £2.226 million (capital) and £1,156 million (revenue) will be available for distribution in 2001-02 to the other police authority listed once it has signed its service contract.

Payment to BT for the core service will be made centrally.

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