§ Ms Atherton
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what progress the Government have made in obtaining objective 1 status for Cornwall. 
§ Mrs. Roche
In its communication "Agenda 2000", published on 16 July 1997, the Commission outlined in general terms its approach to the reform of the Structural Funds. We expect the Commission to publish more detailed draft regulations covering the future operation of the Funds in March or April this year. These draft regulations, covering the period 2000–2006, will then need to be negotiated in the Council of Ministers and approved by the European Parliament. Only once the final regulations have been agreed will we know which specific regions or areas will be eligible for Structural Funds. I and other Ministers have raised the specific treatment of Cornwall and other similar UK areas with low per capita GDP directly with the Commission. The Government will be working hard to ensure an outcome which is fair to the UK's regions and to the UK as a whole.