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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos): Unless they were accredited as members of a diplomatic mission, consular post or international organisation, or covered by arrangements for visiting forces, civil servants from other countries operating in any part of the United Kingdom would not enjoy diplomatic immunity or any other special status.
Baroness Amos: Article 228 (2) provides that the Commission shall refer to the Court of Justice any case where it considers that a member state has failed to take measures necessary to comply with a judgment of the Court of Justice. In making such a referral the Commission shall specify the lump sum or penalty to be paid. This would equally apply where the failure involved a failure to pay the fines set down in the judgment with which the member state had failed to comply.
The appropriate sanction would therefore be a second referral for failure to comply with a judgment (being the third referral in total, the first referral having been for failure to comply with the original judgment that the member state had failed to fulfil an obligation under the treaty).
Baroness Amos: Article 229 does not provide for alternative penalties to be imposed. It confers upon the European Court of Justice jurisdiction to rule on penalties which are imposed under regulations
Baroness Amos: The UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Burma, Razali Ismail, expressed his disappointment at the pace of progress after he visited Burma on 12-16 November. He expressed disappointment with the political process which had not been "maximised or developed". We agree with this assessment.
If real political progress is to take place in Burma, Senior General Than Shwe must increase his contacts with Aung San Suu Kyi and move the discussions on from confidence building to substantive issues.
Baroness Amos: We monitor the trade in Burma carefully through a drugs liaison officer based in Bangkok. The majority of opium and methamphetamine produced in Burma is trafficked within Asia and to Australia.
We try to bring pressure to bear on the Burmese regime to improve their record on drugs. The European Council conclusions of 21 October on Burma included urging "the authorities to take vigorous action to combat the production and trafficking of drugs". UK law enforcement agencies co-operate with their counterparts in South-East Asia in specific criminal investigations.
Baroness Amos: The British Embassy, Dublin does not retain figures on the number of successful or unsuccessful applications for British citizenship. All applications received by the British Embassy are forwarded to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate at the Home Office in Liverpool where a final decision is reached.
Baroness Amos: The Spanish Government have raised a number of concerns about Gibraltar in public and in private, most recently in relation to the "Prestige" oil tanker and the operations of Gibraltar port. We have made clear to the Spanish that we do not share their view on this issue.
Baroness Amos: The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission is charged with the responsibility of supervising institutions carrying on financial business in or from within Gibraltar. The commission is appointed by the governor with the approval of the Secretary of State.
Baroness Amos: My noble friend Lady Symons of Vernham Dean wrote on 4 December to all those noble Lords who took part in the debate on Second Reading of the Bill enclosing additional notes on the Bill. Copies have been placed in the House of Lords Library.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): All departments included in the Rural Proofing report, with the exception of Cabinet Office and Home Office, have said they will either be including a section on rural proofing or will be signposting the work they are doing in this area within their departmental reports.
The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): We plan to bring forward a Bill which will include provision for the sale of the Tote. We have made it clear that our wish is to sell to a trust which represents relevant horseracing interests. The Bill will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): There were three accidents involving RAF Chinook Mk1aircraft in the period 198994 and an RAF board of inquiry was held after each of them. The dates of the accidents were: 24 July 1989, 25 July 1989 and 15 October 1991. They have no relevance to the Mull of Kintyre accident, where the aircraft involved was a Chinook Mk2.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The radio spectrum referred to as the 2 GHz band is at 2025-2110 MHz and 2200-2290 MHz. (It is not the whole of the spectrum between 2 and 3 GHz where there are a great many current and prospective users, including prospective cellular systems, existing fixed links, satellite services, programme making and special events users, industrial, scientific and medical use, low power applications, government and de-regulated use).
The current users of the spectrum at 2025-2110 MHz and 2290-2025 MHz are space operations (Civil) and space operations (military). This spectrum is globally harmonised for space operations services. In Europe, this includes data links to satellite and telecommand. The UK has military use of NATO satellite services from specific sites. This application is of paramount importance to the UK and the international regulatory basis for managing spectrum is such that we can only protect this application under the provisions that apply to this spectrum. In this respect it is unique and is the only spectrum of its kind that is suited to this type of space operation.
Other services can operate in this band within limits imposed by international regulations. There is also one regional rural fixed wireless access licensee (Zipcom) which has held a licence since 1996 but has not rolled-out sevices. Indeed, as a consequence of Zipcom's failure to meet its roll-out obligations, it has been asked to surrender its licence.
The recent changes I referred to are consequential to requirements of the military for space operations and tactical radio links as part of our long-term commitment to NATO. It will not be possible for commercial public fixed wireless access services to co-exist with these operations, which would cause serious and repeated interruption through the UK.
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