§ 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. 
§ 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.