§ Mr. Ingram
To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many staff are currently employed at the National Engineering Laboratory; and if he will make a statement on the detailed provisions which will apply to them in the privatisation of the laboratory. 
§ Mr. Ian Taylor
Following the statement by my right hon. Friend the then President of the Board of Trade on 14 April 1994,Official Report, columns 251–53, regarding the future of the National Engineering Laboratory, good progress has been made with the trade sale. I hope to be in a position to announce a preferred bidder at the end of this month or early next month and I shall write to the hon. Member. At this stage, it is not possible to say what will be the detailed provisions that will apply to the 234 staff currently at the laboratory, but the terms and conditions of staff who transfer will be preserved under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981.