§ Mr. Robert B. Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he will take to ensure that the proposed European Commission habitats directive will be 125W effectively applied in England, Scotland and Wales following the proposed fragmentation of the Nature Conservancy Council.
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement made in this House by the Secretary of State for the Environment on 23 November—Official Report columns 17–18—which set out the arrangements that will apply after the reorganisation of the NCC for a statutory joint committee dealing inter alia with issues that have an international dimension. I am confident that any future European Commission directive on habitats—if agreed by the Council of Ministers—could be applied effectively within this framework.