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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): Tackling the narcotics industry is at the heart of UK efforts in Afghanistan. We are supporting the Government of Afghanistan's National Drug Control Strategy, which is based on approaches that have worked in Thailand and Pakistan. Over the period 2005-08, we will spend in excess of £290 million to support counter-narcotics, including £130 million to promote the development of alternative livelihoods for Afghan farmers. There has been some success: improvements in security and governance in the north, centre and east of Afghanistan have led to a dramatic reduction in poppy cultivation. The Afghan Government are aiming for at least half of provinces to become poppy-free in 2008 (from 13 in 2007 to 17 in 2008). We are working to sustain these gains and are focusing our efforts on the south where poppy cultivation is becoming increasingly linked with insecurity and the insurgency.
Whether they have considered the concerns expressed by the United States General Accountability Office in their recent annual report on the progress of the Joint Strike Fighter project; and what is their assessment of the implications of these concerns for the participation by the United Kingdom in that project. [HL2582]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): It is normal in a programme of this size and technical complexity that reports may emerge concerning programme progress. As the only level one partner in the Joint Strike Fighter programme, the UK continues to be closely involved in all aspects of the programme to ensure that our key user requirements are met. Our next major investment decision is scheduled for early 2009, when we will decide whether the programme has matured sufficiently, from a performance, cost and time perspective, to justify the UK purchasing aircraft to participate in joint US/UK operational test and evaluation.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): There is no proposal to transfer Berwick-upon-Tweed, which has been considered to be part of England since 1482, to Scotland.
Within the British Nationality Act 1981, the current nationality legislation, the term British subject applies only to two groups: (a) persons who derive the status by reason of a connection with the Republic of Ireland before 1949 and who have claimed the right to remain British subjects; (b) certain persons closely connected with the former British India who have not acquired any alternative citizenship.
British subjects can hold a United Kingdom passport and seek consular protection, in the same way as other British nationals. All British citizens have the right of abode in the United Kingdom, but only certain British subjects (those with a United Kingdom born parent or who were married before 1 January 1983 to a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies). For EC purposes only those British subjects with a right of abode under the Immigration Act 1971 are classed as United Kingdom nationals and are thus entitled to free movement rights.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 11 March (WA 220) concerning British citizens, what is meant by citizens of Eire; and whether such citizenship was a condition of taking up British subject status. [HL2590]
Those who were citizens of Eire on 1 January 1949 could opt to remain a British subject under the provisions of the British Nationality Act 1948. Such people continue to have that right under the British Nationality Act 1981.
British subject status under the 1981 Act also includes people who did not acquire the citizenship of a country that became independent of the United Kingdom on or before commencement of the British Nationality Act 1948.
They therefore became British subjects without citizenship under the British Nationality Act 1948 and on 1 January 1983 they became British subjects under the 1981 Act if they had not acquired another nationality in the interim.
What is their response to the suggestion made by Lord Goldsmith in Citizenship: Our common bond that there may be scope for re-examination of the residual categories of British citizenship with a view to ratifying Protocol 4 to the European Convention on Human Rights. [HL2591]
Lord West of Spithead: The Border and Immigration Agency is currently addressing the requirements for simplification of United Kingdom immigration law. This has involved consideration of amendments to specific parts of the current nationality statutory framework, including entitlement to the right of abode under the Immigration Act 1971 within the United Kingdom and Islands.
Lord West of Spithead: British Overseas citizens, British Nationals (Overseas), British subjects and British protected persons are entitled to British passports, and consular protection when travelling overseas.
Certain British subjects have the right of abode in the United Kingdom. Other British subjects, British Overseas citizens, British Nationals (Overseas) and
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All of these nationals have an entitlement to registration based on a period of five years residence in the United Kingdom. British Overseas citizens, British subjects and British protected persons additionally have an entitlement to register if they have no other nationality, and British Nationals (Overseas), British Overseas citizens, British subjects and British protected persons can apply for registration under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997 if they have no other nationality and are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong.
Lord West of Spithead: The provisions for the acquisition of British citizenship are contained in the British Nationality Act 1981. Whether a person will qualify for British citizenship depends on various factors, including the person's current nationality status and length of residence in the United Kingdom.
Those who wish to acquire British citizenship but are not eligible for registration may apply for naturalisation at the Home Secretary's discretion if they can meet certain residence and other requirements set out in the 1981 Act. Those who are married to a British citizen must be of good character and have a satisfactory knowledge of the English language and life in the United Kingdom. They must also have lived lawfully in the United Kingdom, without long absences, for at least three years and be free from immigration conditions by the time they apply.
A number of leaflets, which explain different aspects of British nationality law, are available on the Home Office website at www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk. In particular, further information about registration for British nationals is in leaflet BN12; information about registration of stateless persons is in leaflet BN5; information about the requirements for naturalisation is in leaflet BN7.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We attribute the recent unrest and disorder in Cameroon to the dissatisfaction of many of its citizens at the poor economic performance and standards of living, and to frustration at the lack of free and fair debate over proposed constitutional amendments to remove limits on presidential terms in office.
We support the efforts for reform in Cameroon, especially reform of the electoral system, the fight against corruption and the improvement of the climate for business and investment. Our High Commission in Yaounde has run a number of projects in the area of democracy, human rights, good governance and making the justice system more effective. Further assistance on electoral reform has been promised to the Government of Cameroon, once an independent elections body is in place. Our High Commission also advises British companies considering business in Cameroon.
The Commonwealth has been closely involved in assisting the Government of Cameroon on electoral reform since its report on the presidential election of 2004. A Commonwealth team was in Cameroon in late February for further discussions on this subject.
What representations the Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson, has received from Mr Ken Mack on the vulnerability of disabled and frail elderly people living in local authority, private or charitably owned care homes; what reply has been sent; and what action they are taking on this matter. [HL2505]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): My right honourable friend has received a number of representations from Mr Mack, most recently in a letter dated 7 March 2007. A reply was sent to Mr Mack on Wednesday 26 March 2008.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Office for National Statistics 2004 survey of mental health of children and young people in Great Britain looked at the prevalence of mental health disorders. It found that 10 per cent of young people aged 5 to 16 years had a clinically diagnosed mental disorder. This was further broken down to 8 per cent of 5 to 10 year-olds and 12 per cent of 11 to 16 year-olds.
There were no differences in prevalence between 1999 and 2004 in overall proportions of children with a mental disorder. The 1999 figures were captured in the 2000 mental health of children and adolescents in Great Britain survey.
Lord Davies of Oldham: Government data for the levy cannot be broken down by company size. However, the climate change levy package provides a range of measures that can help SMEs to improve their energy efficiency. For example, the Carbon Trust provides technical advice and support to businesses. The Energy Efficiency Loan scheme (aimed at SMEs) provides a cost-effective way for SMEs to upgrade existing equipment by providing access to interest-free loans for qualifying energy products.
SMEs are also eligible for enhanced capital allowances on their investment in energy-saving technologies. Over 1,400 products now qualify for Enhanced Capital Allowances, and SMEs can further apply for research grants to help them develop new low-carbon technologies.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The full impact of the levy package was set out in detail in the climate change levy package, published alongside the Budget in 2006. The report includes the results of independent modelling by Cambridge Econometrics, who were commissioned by the Government to evaluate the impact of the levy.
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