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To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 24 November 2010 (WA 327), which 11 member states are unlikely to have complied with the European Union welfare of laying hens directive ban on battery cages by 1 January 2012; what is the current annual level of egg and egg product imports from those states; and how they will implement their intention of prohibiting egg and egg product from hens in such cages from entering the United Kingdom.[HL13437]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): All member states were
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However, at a European Parliament debate in October, the Commission acknowledged for the first time that Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Poland, Portugal and Romania did not expect to be fully compliant. Another five member states had failed to provide any data to the Commission.
Discussions on finding a practical solution to the large-scale non-compliance from 1 January 2012 are ongoing in Brussels and we are working hard to ensure that any solution is as tight as possible to protect UK producers. In parallel, we are working with the egg industry, food manufacturers, the food service industry and retailers to look at what we in the UK can do to protect our compliant producers.
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To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 10 November (WA 75), who will make the decision in response to the request that the Merchant Navy Medal become part of the United Kingdom honours system to the extent that it can have a place in the order of wear, in recognition of the service of the merchant marine and to mark the Diamond Jubilee. [HL13408]
To ask Her Majesty's Government when secondary legislation under the Energy Act 2011 relating to the Green Deal will be available; and what opportunity there will be for discussion and scrutiny prior to orders being laid before Parliament.[HL13365]
Baroness Stowell of Beeston: I am pleased to announce that the Green Deal draft secondary legislation was published alongside the consultation document on 23 November. Both Ministers and officials would be pleased to meet interested parliamentarians to discuss the details of this legislation before the consultation closes on 18 January 2012.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Improving the ecomanagement of fisheries is inherently linked to reform of the European common fisheries policy (CFP). The UK is seeking genuine and radical change to the CFP through the current reform process. We want to end the wasteful practice of discarding fish and have made a commitment to fish, where possible, all fish stocks at their maximum sustainable yield by 2015.
A reformed CFP should integrate fisheries management with other marine environmental policies, and this is to support the delivery of good environmental status by 2020 through the European marine strategy framework directive (MSFD). The CFP will be a key tool for delivering many of the measures necessary to achieve GES under the MSFD, such as improving the condition of fish populations and reducing impacts on habitats and sensitive species. We are leading in this area, as the UK is ahead of most member states in developing national targets and indicators for GES.
In addition, the UK is committed to protecting important marine habitats through developing an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas. These may require the management of fishing activities to conserve or improve the UK marine environment and protect a range of representative features.
We have also taken a strong position on the protection of sensitive species from fishing activities. The UK is a leading international voice for the protection of vulnerable sharks, and both in our waters and internationally we look to ensure sustainable fisheries, trade and the protection of all endangered shark species. We have also completely prohibited the removal of shark fins at sea (shark finning), and are pushing for this to be adopted Europe-wide. We also oppose all forms of whaling, other than limited whaling operations by indigenous people for clearly defined subsistence needs. Furthermore, we are working with fishermen to develop technologies that reduce cetacean by-catch in fishing gears to the lowest possible level.
Through these policies we are continuing to influence and work with others, including other member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission, to agree the necessary changes to deliver a sustainable fisheries and marine environment.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the statement by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in its lay summary for licensed product 00036/0103 that this "contains sodium fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay" indicates that toothpastes with added fluoride require medicinal product licences.[HL13300]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): It is the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency's (MHRA) view that the presence of fluoride in toothpaste does not, in itself, make the product a medicinal product. Oral hygiene products are permitted by the cosmetics directive to contain fluoride to a maximum strength of 0.15 per cent. Accordingly, the MHRA considers that a toothpaste containing more than 0.15 per cent of fluoride falls within the definition of a medicine, but those with lower concentrations do not.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 7 February (WA 18-19), whether they have made progress in deciding whether to reduce the fluoride concentration in United Kingdom water fluoridation schemes; and why they need to await consultations in the United States.[HL13301]
Earl Howe: There is currently no clear evidence to show that, in temperate climate zones, increasing the fluoride content of drinking water to 1 milligram part per litre imposes any risk to general health. It has been suggested that if people are using more fluoride supplements such as mouthwashes, tablets and drops the concentration in water can be reduced. However we are waiting to see if any new evidence is identified in the course of the consultation that the United States Department of Health and Human Services is undertaking on reducing its target concentration to 0.7 milligram per litre.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 1 November (WA 233-4), what is their authority for the view that fluoride when added to mains water to protect children's teeth does not constitute a medical treatment as opposed to a medicinal product.[HL13302]
Earl Howe: The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency considers that neither fluoride added to drinking water nor the resulting fluoridated water is a medicinal product which requires marketing authorisations as medicines.
The case law of the European Court of Justice indicates that it is for the national authorities of each member state, subject to review by the national courts, to determine whether either limb of the definition of
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"It is for the national authorities to determine, subject to review by the courts, for each product, whether or not it constitutes a medicinal product, having regard to all its characteristics, in particular its composition, its pharmacological properties as they may be ascertained in the current state of scientific knowledge, the way in which it is used, the extent to which it is sold, its familiarity to consumers and the risks which its use may entail".
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the chairman and chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence were appointed; and what is the normal intended tenure for those two positions.[HL13455]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The current chair of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) was first appointed in March 1999. The total period in office that the chair can normally serve is 10 years but this may be exceeded with the agreement of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Responsibility for appointing the chair of NICE has been delegated by the Secretary of State to the Appointments Commission, which has recently announced the reappointment of the current chair for a further year to the end of March 2013.
The current chief executive of NICE was also appointed to the role in March 1999. The chief executive is appointed by the NICE board, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State, and there is no time limit on this appointment.
Earl Attlee: The Government fully recognise the concern felt about rail fare levels. Despite the huge pressure on budgets, the Government have taken the decision to prioritise rail because of the economic benefits it generates and passenger concerns about overcrowding.
We have announced a significant programme of investment in rail. Our long-term policy aspiration, if the requisite savings are found, is that we may finally be able to put the era of above-inflation fare increases behind us.
As co-sponsors of the project, the Department for Transport continues to work closely with Transport for London to ensure Crossrail Ltd's procurement proceeds in line with the requirements of the scheme as a whole.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many of the 168 train carriages supplied to National Express East Anglia are surplus to the requirements of the new franchisee, Abellio; to which other franchises they will be deployed; and when.[HL13487]
Earl Attlee: National Express East Anglia procured 188 additional vehicles between 2009 and 2011. Abellio will deploy all these vehicles in the new franchise. However, it will not be renewing the leases on 36 older, low-capacity (ex-Stansted Express) vehicles. The future deployment of these vehicles is a matter for their owner (Angel Trains).
Earl Attlee: The study made recommendations for achieving up to £1 billion savings per year by 2018-19, none of which assumed the closure of any railway stations. In due course, the Government will set out its proposals for rail reform, taking the recommendations of the rail value-for-money study into account.
Earl Attlee: The Prime Minister confirmed last month that the Government now recognise the engagement of private armed guards as an option to protect human life onboard UK-registered ships in exceptional circumstances.
The Department for Transport is working with other government departments to finalise national guidance to ship owners and an interim process by which private security companies can lawfully possess prohibited firearms on board UK ships in these exceptional circumstances. It is expected that the guidance will be published later this month and a Written Ministerial Statement will be placed before the House at this time.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the exchange of correspondence between the Prime Minister and Simon Davies of Privacy International concerning the sale of surveillance technology in the Middle East and North Africa, and place copies in the Library of the House. [HL13348]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The Prime Minister's Office has not received any correspondence from Simon Davies of Privacy International. If correspondence is received it will be dealt with appropriately.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times in each of the past five years judicial review proceedings have been brought against the Department for Transport and its Ministers; and how many of those proceedings have resulted in orders, declarations, injunctions or the awarding of damages.[HL13488]
Earl Attlee: During the past five years-that is, the financial year 2007-08 to this point in the current financial year-89 new judicial review cases were opened against the Department for Transport and its seven executive agencies.
To provide all of the information requested about the outcome of each judicial review case for the period in question would, I regret, incur a disproportionate cost. However, the following information about decided cases in the superior courts (High Court; Court of Appeal and the Court of Justice of the EU) is readily available.
R (Wiltshire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England & Geoff Yates) v Swindon Borough Council (Defendant) and Taylor Wimpey, Wiltshire County Council & the Highways Agency (Interested Parties)  EWHC 1586 (Admin) (26 June 2009)
Judgment in the judicial review application that, until a national policy statement under the Planning Act 2008 was concluded, the Secretary of State could not limit the scope of the permissible debate about airport expansion.
Against the wider context of multiple judicial review applications, the court's judgment was that the Secretary of State's interpretation of the applicable legislation was to be preferred. In the light of this judgment, the judicial review applications were not continued.
The original judicial review application (9 January 2009) related to a grant of planning permission and was dismissed. This judgment relates to the Secretary of State's discretion under the planning legislation. The court upheld the exercise of the discretion.
Global Knafaim Leasing Ltd & CGTSN Ltd v Civil Aviation Authority & BAA Ltd (Defendants) & Eurocontrol, NATS (En Route) plc, NATS (Services) Ltd & Secretary Of State for Transport (Interested Parties) (5) Aviation Working Group (Intervener)  EWHC 1348 (Admin) (11 June 2010)
Neil Herron & Parking Appeals Ltd (Claimants) v Parking Adjudicator (Defendant) & Sunderland City Council, Parking & Traffic Appeals, Traffic Penalty Tribunal, NCP Service Ltd & Secretary of State for Transport (Interested Parties)  EWHC 1161 (Admin) (25 May 2010)
Baroness Rawlings: The Government do not make assessments of precisely the type suggested, but we contribute to the wide-ranging plan of work being delivered by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Metal Theft Working Group to tackle metal theft. Discussions are under way across government on whether legislative changes are needed to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 to tackle metal theft.
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