§ Mr. Shersby
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what information he has concerning the226W progress of the draft construction products directive; when it will be finalised; and when it is expected to become operative;
(2) if he will consider the desirability of rationalising the three sets of building regulations in operation in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Trippier
The draft construction products directive is being considered by the Internal Market Council working party on economic questions, and is to be referred to the Permanent Representatives Commit tee (COREPER) very shortly. A number of issues are outstanding, but it may be possible to reach agreement in the Council of Ministers before the end of the German presidency. It is intended that the directive should come into effect 12 months after adoption by the Council.
One of the objectives of the current review of the building regulations is to bring the technical requirements in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland closer together. My officials are working closely with officials in Scotland and Northern Ireland on the principle that technical requirements ought to be the same, unless differences can be specifically justified.