§ Mr. Davidson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to ban the import of all forms of asbestos; if he will list those members of the EU which have introduced such a ban; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Meacher
We are firmly committed both to a national and to a Europe-wide solution to the problem of asbestos, based on sound science. It is increasingly likely that the European Commission's draft proposals for further restrictions on asbestos marketing and use within the EU will be voted on by Member States in March 1999. At around the same time, I expect to receive the Health and Safety Commission's recommendation following its recent consultation exercise on a British ban.
I understand that Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden have asbestos bans in place.