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Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Her Majesty's Government are satisfied that arrangements for the defence of Gibraltar are appropriate to meet any potential threat.

Kenya: British Unexploded Ordnance

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: An agreement was reached at a mediation meeting on 18 and 19 July between the Ministry of Defence and lawyers representing the claimants. The MoD agreed to pay £4,500,000, plus reasonable costs, on a limited liability basis in settlement of the 228 claims already notified and any potential claims of which the lawyers are presently aware but which have not been notified to the Ministry of Defence.

Vaccines Interactions Research Programme

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

30 Jul 2002 : Column WA166

Lord Bach: The Ministry of Defence's Vaccines Interactions Research Programme is studying whether the combination of vaccines and tablets used to protect UK personnel during the Gulf conflict can give rise to adverse health effects. The results of the initial dose-ranging study were published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology on 21 January 2001. The study did not report any remarkable findings with the combination of vaccines and pyridostigmine bromide pretreatment examined but helped to determine the appropriate vaccine doses for use in the subsequent study. The present study is using a small primate, the marmoset. The first two phases of the marmoset study found that the dose and panel of vaccines used in the dose-ranging study did not give rise to acute health consequences in the marmoset.

An outline of the findings was presented at the Conference on Illnesses among Gulf War Veterans: A decade of scientific research in Washington DC in January 2001. Interim results from the third phase of the marmoset study will be submitted for presentation as a scientific poster to an appropriate conference later this year. This will report upon the effects of vaccines and pyridostigmine three months after administration. The majority of the practical work from the third phase of the marmoset study should be complete by August 2003. The study as a whole is expected to complete in December 2003 and cannot be speeded up because of the need to monitor the marmosets over a pre-determined period of time and to undertake key activities such as histopathology and statistical analyses. The final results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The timing of publication will be a matter for the journals' editors.

The MoD hopes that results from related vaccines research work in mice being undertaken at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control will be available in the form of an abstract of work submitted for presentation at a conference in September 2002. The poster describing the marmoset work and the abstract of the mouse study will be available on the MoD's website (along with the published information to date) at: High quality research cannot be hurried or skimped to meet any earlier deadline than we envisage.

Gulf Veterans: Motor Neurone Disease

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What further consideration they have given to emulating the decision of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to accept motor neurone disease among veterans of the Gulf confict as a war-related illness. [HL5405]

30 Jul 2002 : Column WA167

Lord Bach: I refer the noble Lord to my Answer of 13 March 2002 (WA 81).

Gulf Veterans' Illnesses

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What recent representations they have received about ministerial comments in relation to Gulf War illnesses; what replies have been sent; and what further action they are considering. [HL5406]

Lord Bach: The Government place a very high priority on addressing the concerns of Gulf veterans and continue to respond to representations from Parliamentarians and others on various issues concerning Gulf veterans' illnesses. The Government's position on this complex issue is kept under review. If the noble Lord would care to write to me with details of any concerns he may have, I will reply.

EU-Singapore Free Trade Area Proposal

Lord Naseby asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the current status of the negotiations on the proposed European Union-Singapore free trade area agreement. [HL5401]

The Minister for Trade (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The Singapore Government have made clear that they wish to see a free trade agreement negotiated between the EU and Singapore. Singapore has lobbied EU member states and the European Commission in favour of this proposal. As yet the Commission has not put a formal recommendation to the Council of Ministers on how the EU should respond. The UK has strong interests in trade with Singapore, as its principal European trading partner.

Strategic Export Controls Annual Report

Baroness Pitkeathley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the annual report on strategic export controls will be published. [HL5436]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The 2001 annual report on strategic export controls was published on 19 July. It covers arms export licensing decisions and exports in 2001, as well as domestic and international policy developments. Since 1997, the reports have established themselves as among the most transparent produced by any arms exporting country, giving Parliament and public the ability to scrutinise our export licensing policy as never before. This year's report will be a clear restatement of that commitment to accountability and transparency in strategic export controls. The report will be available on the FCO website ( and through the Stationery Office.

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EU/Israel Association Agreement

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect the European Union Foreign Ministers and the General Affairs Council to discuss the European Union-Israel free-association agreement; which countries have called for the suspension of that agreement; and what is the Government's position.[HL5455]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: European Union Foreign Ministers are likely to discuss the EU/Israel Association Agreement at the 30 September meeting of the General Affairs Council, in preparation for the 22 October meeting of the EU/Israel Association Council. We are not aware that any member state is proposing suspension of the association agreement. The Government believe that the European Union can best exert influence on both Israel and the Palestinians through dialogue and engagement. We do not believe that suspension of the EU/Israel agreement would bring the parties any nearer to a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

EU Economic and Social Committee: UK Representation

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What will be the United Kingdom's representation on the European Union's Economic and Social Committee as it starts its next term.[HL5601]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Government have submitted to the Council Secretariat details of the United Kingdom's 24 nominees for membership of the Economic and Social Committee, along with 24 reserve nominees.

The nominees are:

Group I
Bryan CassidyConsultant
David SearsFormer Deputy Director General, British Chamber of Commerce
Ben ButtersDirector, Small Business/Europe
Donna St HillInternational Consultant
Sheila RitchieSolicitor
Brenda KingChair, African and Caribbean Finance Forum
Robert BairdEconomist
Clive WilkinsonConsultant, Gin and Vodka Association
Group II
David FeickartTUC European Officer
Sir Ken JacksonAMICUS
Alison ShepherdVice President, UNISON
Monica TaylorTransport and General Workers' Union
Judy McKnightGeneral Secretary, NAPO
Derek HunterRegional Secretary GMB Southern Region
Sandy BoyleDeputy General Secretary, UNIFI
Brian CurtisRMT Regional Organiser
Group III
Ann DavisonExecutive Director, European Research into Consumer Affairs
Rose D'SaLaw Professor, University of Glamorgan
Sukhdev SharmaFormer Chief Executive, Commission for Racial Equality
Richard AdamsFairtrade Foundation
John SimpsonConsultant Economist
Madi SharmaManaging Director
Maureen O'NeilDirector, Age Concern, Scotland
Claire WhittenExecutive Director, Northern Ireland Centre in Europe

30 Jul 2002 : Column WA169

The reserve nominees are:

Group I
Len CollinsonManagement Consultant
Brendan BurnsCompany Director, Burns, Burns and Burns
Kathleen SeckerCity College, Norwich
William McKeeDG British Property Foundation
Brian PrimeFederation of Small Businesses
Brian RostronDirector General, Confederation of UK Coal Producers
Edmund TuckerConsultant, Scotch Whiskey Association
Gary ParkerForum for Private Business
Group II
Nicholas ClarkPolicy Officer, GPMU
Andrew BairdRegional Secretary (Scotland) Transport and General Workers' Union
Danny CarriganNational Officer, AMICUS
Jim McCuskerNIPSA
Peter BuntingAssistant Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Patrick CarragherGeneral Secretary, British Association of Colliery Management
Tom LeneyAssociation of Teachers and Lecturers
Anne MiddletonSTUC
Group III
Bill UreSecretary, Rail Passengers Committee Scotland
Hamish MorrisonChief Executive, Scottish Fishermen's Association
Laura HayesDirector, Management Development and Coaching Programmes
Jane McKayGlasgow Trades Union Council
Barbara KellyFormer Chair, Scottish Consumer Council
Rita ReesBrain Injured and Families European Confederation
Naomi SargantVisiting Professor, The Open University
Shahwar SadequeFormer Commissioner for Racial Equality

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