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GATT Measures and the Environment

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: There is a steady flow of assessments of the impact of trade measures, including environmental impacts, from academics, governments, NGOs and others. All WTO agreements are subject to regular reviews in the relevant WTO committees, in which the Government participate. The Government support, and have contributed to, the EU's Sustainability Impact Assessment for the proposed new round of multilateral trade negotiations. Such assessments and reviews will be used to help inform our position for negotiating any further trade measures.

WTO: UK Policy on Poor Countries

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Government's position is that (a) we will be pressing the EU to go ahead with its commitment to provide duty-free access for essentially all products from the Least Developed Countries as soon as possible. More generally, the Government will continue to call for zero tariffs to be applied to all goods from the Least Developed Countries as my right honourable friend the Prime Minister promised in his speech at Mansion House on 22 November; (b) the WTO negotiations on agriculture due to start in January 2000 will reinforce the pressures which already exist for continued reform of the CAP along the lines the Government are already pursuing--i.e. the phasing out of production-related support, including export subsidies, accompanied where necessary by targeted measures to conserve and enhance the rural environment and promote the rural economy; and (c) WTO agreements should continue to take into account the level of development of all WTO members, providing where necessary additional transitional periods and capacity building assistance to support implementation.

Channel Islands: Arms Exports Licensing

Baroness Williams of Crosby asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What role the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development have in consultations with the Channel Islands arms exports licensing authorities over the issue of particular licences.[HL116]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Under arrangements between the DTI's Export Control Organisation (ECO) and Jersey and Guernsey Customs & Excise Departments, the latter send ECO all applications for a licence to export arms or other goods controlled for strategic reasons from the Channel Islands. These applications are then circulated by DTI to other government departments with an interest, as determined by them, and in due course appropriate advice is given to the relevant Channel Islands licensing authority. The departments to which DTI is required to circulate such applications include the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development.

All such applications are assessed against the criteria announced by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 28 July 1997, House of Commons Official Report, cols. 26-29, and the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports.

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Baroness Williams of Crosby asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps have been taken to ensure that machine guns and stun grenades licensed for export to the Channel Islands in 1997 and 1998 have not been licensed for re-export.[HL117]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Details of export licensing decisions between 2 May 1997 and 31 December 1998 were set out in the Government's 1997 and 1998 Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls, published respectively on 25 March and 3 November 1999.

The relevant licences issued in 1997 covered the export of 10 stun grenades to the Guernsey Police for training purposes, and the export of a World War II machine gun tripod for display in a museum; there was a typographical error in the description of the latter in the 1997 Annual Report, which should have read "vintage machine gun part" rather than "vintage machine guns". The relevant licence issued in 1998 also covered the export of 10 stun grenades to the Guernsey Police for training purposes. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Under arrangements between the DTI's Export Control Organisation (ECO) and Jersey and Guernsey Customs & Excise Departments, the latter send ECO all applications for a licence to export arms or other goods controlled for strategic reasons for the Channel Islands. These applications are then circulated by DTI to other government departments with an interest as determined by them, and advice is given in due course to the relevant Channel Islands licensing authority. Such applications are considered against the criteria announced by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonweatlh Affairs on 28 July 1997, House of Commons Official Report, cols. 26-29, and against the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports.

Cats-eyes: Safety Inspections

Viscount Simon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What measures are being taken to ensure the safety of road users from loose cats-eyes following the fatal accident on the M.3 motorway in which a car passenger was killed by a dislodged cats-eye.[HL139]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr Peter Nutt, to write to the noble Viscount.


    Letter to Viscount Simon from the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr Peter Nutt, dated 9 December 1999.


    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Lord Whitty, has asked me to reply to your question about the measures being taken to ensure the safety of road

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    users from loose cats-eyes following the fatal accident on the M.3 motorway.


    I was very sorry to hear about the accident. Such incidents are extremely rare on the motorway and trunk road network.


    We undertake a number of regular inspections to assess the safety and condition of the trunk road network. Since the accident, we have confirmed that

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    these inspections are being undertaken and we instructed that a special condition survey of road studs at the accident site and in the surrounding area be undertaken.


    We have also instigated an investigation into the long-term integrity and performance of various types of road stud.


    I shall write to you again to let you know the outcome and what, if any, measures we decide to take.



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