HC Deb 17 June 1999 vol 333 c200W
Mr. Davidson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 26 May 1999,Official Report, columns 170–71, when he expects to make a decision on the recommendation of the Health and Safety Commission to implement a ban on white asbestos; and when he expects the European Commission to ratify the vote of their Technical Committee to tighten the restrictions on the import of white asbestos; and if he will make a statement. [86651]

Mr. Meacher

The Government are determined to apply further necessary restrictions to the importation, marketing and use of white asbestos. I have received advice from the Health and Safety Commission about those new restrictions in the form of draft regulations. I will act on that advice as soon as the European Commission has ratified the vote of their technical committee on 4 May to adapt to technical progress Council Directive 76/769/EEC. Under European law, it would be illegal for new domestic restrictions to be introduced before this has happened. I am hopeful that the European Commission will ratify the adaptation directive this month. The UK continues to encourage the European Commission to act swiftly on this vitally important measure.