|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Why cattle in bluetongue restricted zones in the United Kingdom may not be transported when cattle from similar restricted zones in Germany were allowed to be imported into the United Kingdom. [HL1449]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Under the EU Bluetongue Regulation (EC No. 1266/2007), susceptible animals are permitted to move out of bluetongue restricted zones into bluetongue free areas for intra-community and domestic trade, provided that all the necessary conditions have been met. In most cases, animals must undergo pre-movement testing and these tests must indicate negative results for virus infection. The conditions in the EU Bluetongue Regulation are being applied by the UK and other EU member states.
On 21 December, my officials announced that the UK is now in a period of low-vector activity as winter temperatures mean that midges are either dying off, inactive and/or unable to transmit virus. This means that, upon receipt of negative test results, farmers can move their animals out of the surveillance and protection zones to the bluetongue free area. It is hoped that the relaxation of movement restrictions during the vector-free period will alleviate some of the problems the industry has been facing during the bluetongue outbreak.
Further to the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs, Jonathan Shaw, on 10 December 2007 (Official Report, col. 24W), how much money has been budgeted for each of 200809, 200910 and 201011 for the School Milk Subsidy Scheme and the Dairy Supply Chain Forum. [HL1487]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): There are two elements to the School Milk Subsidy Scheme, one being an EU subsidy, the other being a national top-up. For the national top-up, the UK Government have committed £1.5 million for each of the financial years (the contributions coming in equal part from Defra, the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department of Health). The total EU budget for the School Milk Subsidy Scheme for the 2008 EU financial year is €64 million. The budget allocations for future years are yet to be agreed. EU expenditure in 2007 in the UK was €8.2 million.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 9 January (WA 199), whether a passport control queuing time of 25 minutes for European Economic Area air passengers is an appropriate benchmark; and [HL1329]
Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 9 January (WA 199), whether a passport control queuing time of 45 minutes for non- European Economic Area air passengers is an appropriate benchmark; and [HL1330]
Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 9 January (WA 199), whether it is appropriate for airports to use a different passport control queuing time benchmark for European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA air passengers. [HL1331]
EEA nationals are subject to identity and nationality checks on arrival, in addition to checks against watchlists. Non-EEA nationals who require leave to enter are also subject to the same checks, and are also subjected to eligibility interviews and documentation examination. These different requirements on entry result in different transaction times and, depending on the circumstances, can lead to different waiting times. The current standards reflect this.
The Border and Immigration Agency is working with the Department for Transport to implement an action plan (as published in November 2008) which will set new standards for the processing of passengers on arrival for implementation over the course of 2008.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Drayson on 17 October 2007 (WA 52), on how many occasions since last October Royal Air Force aircraft have been launched to monitor Russian aircraft approaching United Kingdom airspace. [HL1436]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Between 1 October 2007 and 18 January 2008, RAF Quick Reaction Alert aircraft were scrambled on 11 days to identify Russian military aircraft.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): In Northern Ireland the agency recovered £0.8 million in the financial year 2005-06 and £0.3 million in the financial year 2006-07. These sums related to civil recovery cases. In the period 1 April 2007 until 31 December 2007, the agency recovered £0.3 million. This figure is subject to confirmation pending end of financial year results.
Riding on the footpath is an offence under Article 3 of the Road Traffic Regulation (Northern Ireland) Order 1997; riding through a red light is caught by Article 50 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1995; and the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 require bicycles to be lit after dark.
Why the Border and Immigration Agency's revised guidance notes relating to applications for an extension of stay in the United Kingdom issued on 4 January state at paragraph 49 please do not send your application to our Sheffield address, and further warn at paragraph 59 that if your application is sent to our Sheffield addresses this will delay the processing of your application, and yet state at paragraph 54 that completed applications should be sent to Work Permits (UK) at a Sheffield address; why these instructions were issued; and when they will be revised and clarified. [HL1200]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The paragraphs were originally included in the guidance notes to ensure that applicants submitted their application via the payment handling service and not direct to the case-working teams based in Sheffield.
When the payment handling service was itself relocated to Sheffield in April 2007 these paragraphs should have been amended. This was an oversight which has now been remedied. A revised version of the guidance notes is now available through the Border and Immigration website.
There were 102 appeals by bus operators about reimbursement arrangements in 2007-08, of which 21 were later withdrawn. Of the 81 appeals remaining, not all contained sufficient information for a decision to be taken. As of 17 January, 29 appeals have been determined by an independent adjudicator appointed on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport. A further 52 appeals remain to be determined.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): A foreign national is not required under UK law to relinquish his original nationality on becoming a British citizen. However, prospective British citizens are required to pledge allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, to give their loyalty to the United Kingdom and to undertake to respect its rights and freedoms.
Whether they will encourage all United Kingdom-based airline companies to conduct research into climate change by using their own aircraft to collect scientific data on emissions and greenhouse effects. [HL1445]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: We do encourage industry to work with the scientific community in research to improve understanding of, and reduce, its environmental impact. Airlines have collected valuable high-altitude environmental data in collaborative projects such as MOZAIC, NOXAR and CARIBIC since the early 90s. Rather than repeating these data new research needs to be focused and agreed with a consensus of the scientific community.
What plans they have to ensure that any private sector corporate research into average emissions effects from vehicles, including aircraft and heavy goods vehicles, are made available to Government and scientific research bodies.[HL1446]
The Government publish their own research, enabling the private sector to consider how their own work links in. The Government also welcome submission of private sector research data so that this may be considered in developing policy. Where private sector organisations approach the Government with new technology or ideas impacting on emissions of air pollutants or greenhouse gases, we encourage them to commission independent research to demonstrate the impacts and make this publicly available.
What data protection rules cover the use of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and footage, including domestic CCTV; and what plans they have to ensure that all CCTV systems are covered by the Data Protection Act. [HL1293]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Data Protection Act 1998 covers all processing of personal data by automatic means, including those closed circuit television (CCTV) systems where it is possible for the operator to identify distinct individuals from the footage or information relating to individuals, such as vehicle registration marks. The Act provides an exemption for any processing carried out purely for personal, family or household affairs. There are no plans to remove that exemption. It is the data captured by the CCTV systems that are covered by the Act, not the systems themselves. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) publishes a code of practice on the use of CCTV. The ICO has reviewed this code of practice and a revised version is due to be launched on 28 January.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 30 October (WA 181), whether they will publish their answer, as to whether the Prime Minister's statement at the Labour Party conference that any newcomer to Britain who is caught selling drugs or using guns will be thrown out will apply to citizens of European Union member states, in the official list. [HL78]
Whether they will change the timetable for elections to the House of Commons to bring them closer into line with elections to the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament, the European Parliament and local authorities. [HL1249]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government keep the conduct of elections under review. They are considering a proposal that the timetable for the elections to the House of Commons should be extended to bring it closer to the elections to the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament, the European Parliament and local authorities.
The timetable for the election to the House of Commons starts with the receipt of the writ from the Clerk of the Crown by the Returning Officer and ends 17 working days later on election day. For the elections to the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament, the European Parliament and local authorities the election timetable starts with the issue of the notice of election, which may be no later than 25 days before the election day.
What administration costs were incurred by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in relation to the European structural and cohesion funds for the last financial year for which figures are available. [HL1385]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The administration costs incurred by Defra in relation to EU structural fund, for 2006-07 were £115,000. Defra does not administer a cohesion fund.
What legislative and administrative measures will be needed to give effect to the Protocol to the Treaty of Lisbon on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality so as to enable either House of Parliament to invoke the protocol before the European Court of Justice. [HL1305]
The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The Protocol to the Lisbon Treaty on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality establishes procedures allowing national Parliaments to raise objections to draft EU legislation on subsidiarity grounds. It is for Parliament to decide how to exercise its rights under these procedures.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|