§ Mr. Pawsey
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the embryology authority to assume its full powers and commence its work.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority started work when the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act received Royal Assent in November last year. The authority is currently planning the arrangements which need to be in place by the time it assumes its full powers and commences licensing.
I announced today in my speech to the Interim Licensing Authority's annual meeting for infertility treatment centres and ethics committees, that an order will be laid shortly which will enable the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to assume its full powers on 1 August this year.