§ Mrs. Ann Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what he is doing to speed up progress towards the adoption of the habitats directive; and what is his estimate of the cost of ensuring effective implementa-tion of the directive.
§ Mr. Trippier
In recent months my Department has taken an active part in discussions with our European Community partners to agree a text for a directive. I intend to reinforce our support at the Environment Council on 18 March. The cost of implementing the directive in the Community as a whole is expected to be substantial, but definitive figures are not yet available. The United Kingdom system of nature conservation is relatively well developed and the additional costs in the United Kingdom are not expected to be great.