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Treasure Act 1996

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Blackstone: The Report on the Operation of the Treasure Act 1996: Review and Recommendations is being published today and I am arranging for copies to be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.

Terrorist Acts

Viscount Bridgeman asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The interpretation of terrorism in the United Kingdom is placed within an international context and is contained in Part I, Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which received Royal Assent on 20 July 2000 and came into force on 19 February 2001.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000 paramilitary beatings and enforced exile can be interpreted as terrorist acts. The Government remain utterly and unequivocally opposed to any such acts from whatever quarter they come.

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Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: UK Delegation

Lord Walker of Doncaster asked Her Majesty's Government:

    If they will announce the full composition of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Assembly of Western European Union.[HL1220]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Western European Union is as follows: Terry Davis Esq MP (Leader)

Full RepresentativesSubstitute Members
David Atkinson Esq MPJanet Anderson MP
Malcolm Bruce Esq MPTony Banks Esq MP
Sir Sydney Chapman MPBaroness Billingham
Tom Cox Esq MPLord Burlison
James Cran Esq MPAnn Cryer MP
Bill Etherington Esq MPMichael Hancock Esq CBE MP
Paul Flynn Esq MPBaroness Hooper
Lord JuddRt Hon Lord Kilclooney
Baroness Knight of Collingtree DBEKhalid Mahmood Esq MP
Tony Lloyd Esq MPDavid Marshall Esq MP
Jim Marshall Esq MPAlan Meale Esq MP
Chris McCafferty MPGordon Prentice Esq MP
Kevin McNamara Esq MPGeraldine Smith MP
Eddie O'Hara Esq MPLord Tomlinson
Lord Russell-JohnstonDr Rudi Vis MP
John Wilkinson Esq MPRobert Walter Esq MP
Jimmy Wray Esq MP

Civil Employment under the Crown

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they intend to take to remove general restrictions as to nationality which apply to civil employment under the crown.[HL1008]

The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The Government are keen to open up civil employment under the crown regardless of nationality, while reserving the right, enjoyed by all EC member states, to reserve posts for their own nationals where strictly necessary. Although it has not been possible to secure a slot in the legislative programme to address civil employment under the crown generally, the Police Bill contains a provision

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which will enable a person of any nationality who is living in the UK free of conditions and who meets the required standards to be appointed to the office of constable.

Equalities Commission

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What lessons they have learnt from the experiences of a unified single Equalities Commission in Northern Ireland; and whether there are any benefits for the remainder of the United Kingdom in following that route.[HL1041]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Baroness Morgan of Huyton): We are learning from the experience in Northern Ireland of creating a unified single Equality Commission. It covers a range of practical and financial matters, as well as issues relating to the functions, structure, balance, focus and accountability of the commission. Further lessons will no doubt be learnt as the commission beds down. Equality and human rights issues, including the setting up of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, were key factors in the Good Friday Agreement. The situation in Northern Ireland is unique. However, we are continuing to watch developments there so that we can consider whether, and, if so, the extent to which, lessons learnt might be applied throughout the rest of the UK.

Anti-discrimination Legislation

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to simplify anti-discrimination legislation and bring forward a single Equalities Bill, as is the case in Northern Ireland.[HL1042]

Baroness Morgan of Huyton: The Government's priority is to achieve coherence and, where desirable and appropriate, consistency between the different anti-discrimination statutes in Great Britain. We also need to ensure we effectively meet our European obligations. Our actions will be focused on the steps necessary to provide individuals, business and other organisations with a clear understanding of their respective rights and responsibilities under these laws. There are a number of options for achieving this. We intend to issue a consultation document setting out our plans on equality legislation within the next three months.


Lord Garel-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the position of talks regarding the future of Gibraltar.[HL949]

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The Minister for Trade (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): As previously announced, the Government resumed talks under the Brussels Process in July. We are aiming to build a better future for Gibraltar and firmly believe this represents the best way forward. A further ministerial meeting under the Brussels Process is planned for 20 November. Both we and the Spanish Government hope that the Chief Minister of Gibraltar will participate in this meeting. The Government stand by their commitment to the people of Gibraltar as set out in the Preamble to the 1969 Gibraltar Constitution.

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Gibraltar: European Parliament Elections

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether British residents in Gibraltar will have the right to vote in the next election at the European Parliament. [HL1053]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Her Majesty's Government are actively working to ensure Gibraltar's enfranchisement in time for the 2004 elections to the European Parliament. We unequivocally accept the obligation to give effect to the judgment of the ECHR and are continuing our efforts to this end.

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