HC Deb 22 March 1999 vol 328 c115W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his answer of 9 December 1998,Official Report, column 199, on the island of Sombrero, if he will make a statement about officials' discussions with the Government of Anguilla. [76629]

Mr. Battle

Officials from the British National Space Centre are in contact with the Government of Anguilla on the outer space aspects of the request by the US company Beal Aerospace to lease Sombrero Island for the purpose of launching commercial satellites. A meeting was held in London on 10 December between UK Government Departments and representatives of the Governor and Government of Anguilla to discuss the process and timetable for considering the application. Representatives of Beal Aerospace and of the Non-Governmental Organisations were also present.

I understand that subsequent discussions have also been held by officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with the Government of Anguilla on this and on other aspects of this unique proposal. My officials continue to be in contact when appropriate.

Discussions are continuing on the full implications of the project.