§ Mr. Chaytor
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will suspend new drilling for oil and gas in the seas west of Scotland until the full implementation of the European Habitats Directive. 
§ Mrs. Liddell
No. I am of the view that all existing consents to drill oil and gas wells to the west of Scotland are compatible with the requirements of the Habitats Directive. It has been concluded after extensive study and consultation that these wells are unlikely to have significant impacts on the environment generally and in particular any species or sites that might be protected under the Directive or indeed any other wildlife in the area.