HC Deb 11 April 2002 vol 383 cc524-8W
Mr. Nigel Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Spain was invited to attend the recent talks under the terms of tile Brussels Process before an invitation was extended to the Government of Gibraltar. [47406]

Peter Hain

The Brussels Process, involving the UK and Spanish governments, was established in 1984 with the aim of overcoming both government's differences over Gibraltar and promoting co-operation on a mutually beneficial basis.

We informed the Chief Minster of Gibraltar in June 2001 of our intention to re-launch the Brussels Process. We and the Spanish Government made clear from the outset that Gibraltarian engagement would be an important element in carrying the process successfully forward.

The Chief Minister of Gibraltar has been invited to attend al the Brussels Process meetings since then. The offer remains open for him to participate in future meetings, having his own and distinct voice on the British side of the table: as the formula "three voices two flags".

Mr. Laxton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what basis European Union funds are not made available for the economic development of Gibraltar. [48307]

Peter Hain

Gibraltar has access to European Union Structural Funding. For the period 2000–06 Gibraltar has been allocated €8 million of Objective 2 funding (assisting regions affected by the decline of traditional industries), and €7 million of Objective 3 funding (combating long-term unemployment and promoting the integration of young people into the labour market). In addition, Gibraltar is involved in three INTERREG III programmes, with an allocation of €425,000 for each.

Mr. Laxton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the British Government will formally seek the views of the Government of Gibraltar on proposals being discussed with the Spanish Government before agreeing any such proposals with a view to these the being placed before the people of Gibraltar for referendum. [48308]

Peter Hain

The aim of the current Brussels Process talks between the UK and Spanish Governments is to produce a set of proposals offering a framework for a secure, stable and prosperous future for Gibraltar. We want Gibraltar to have a voice in the talks. That is why we and the Spanish Government have invited the Chief Minister to participate with his own voice on the British side of the table, a formula known as: "three voices two flags". The offer stands and we continue to hope the Chief Minister will take it up.

Mr. Rosindell

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the date for the next round of talks between Britain and Spain on the future status of Gibraltar. [47317]

Peter Hain

A further Ministerial meeting under the Brussels Process will be held in the coming months. The date has not yet been fixed. Our aim remains to conclude a comprehensive agreement by the summer.

Mr. Rosindell

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of whether Gibraltar's social tax status would be a barrier to integration into the UK. [47315]

Mr. Hain

None. The Government does not regard integration with the UK as an option for any of the British Overseas Territories.

Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps Her Majesty's Government have taken to encourage the United States Administration to ratify the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty; and what information he has in respect of the shortfall in payments made to the CTBT organisation in Vienna. [48079]

Mr. Bradshaw

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. John McDonnell) on 10 December 2001,(Official Report, column 711W.)

In previous years, payments to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organisation have averaged over 95 per cent. of the annual approved budget.

By 3 April this year, the organisation had already received over 50 per cent. of its current budget contributions. This compares favourably with this time last year, when the figure stood at 45 per cent. The US have contributed US$16.6 million for 2002, which represents more than 95 per cent. of their assessed contribution.

Mike Gapes

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the proceeds from the sale of the former Cambodian Embassy in London. [48825]

Mr. Bradshaw

The proceeds from the sale of the former Cambodian Embassy premises and subsequent interest thereon, amount in total to £2.6 million, were transferred to the Foreign Ministry of Cambodia on 21 March. We hope the Cambodian Government will use these funds to establish a permanent diplomatic presence in the UK.

Dr. Ladyman

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what goods subject to strategic controls have recently been approved for export to Iraq. [48826]

Mr. MacShane

Following consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Trade and Industry recently approved a licence to export laboratory equipment for use by secondary schools in Northern Iraq. The export included 6.25kg of sodium sulphide which is subject to the Dual-Use Items (Export Control) Regulations 2000 as amended. The UN Iraq Sanctions Committee approved this export to Iraq under the Oil for Food programme (OFF). Under OFF Iraq is allowed to export unlimited quantities of oil to fund the purchase of humanitarian goods. The export is consistent with the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.

Lawrie Quinn

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the(a) forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union for April and (b) major European Union events for the period between 30 April and September. [48827]

Peter Hain

  • April 2002
    • 5–6——Brussels——Luxembourg——Migrations Council (ASEM Informal)
    • 8——Luxembourg——Fisheries Council
    • 13–14——Luxembourg——ECOFIN (Ministerial Informal)
    • 15–16——Luxembourg——General Affairs Council
    • 22–23——Valencia——Euromed Conference
    • 22–23——Luxembourg——Agriculture Council
    • 25–26——Luxembourg——Justice and Home Affairs Council
    • 27–30——Luxembourg——Agriculture Council (Ministerial Informal)

The following are the principle events in the EU between 1 May and September 2002 (certain relevant events are also included: the list is based on the information available at the date of issue).

  • May
    • 2——Washington——EU/US Summit
    • 3–4——Brussels——Tourism Council (Ministerial Informal)
    • 6——Brussels——Eurogroup (Evening)
    • 7——Brussels——ECOFIN
    • 8——Madrid——EU/Canada Summit
    • 9——Europe Day
    • 13——Brussels——General Affairs Council and Defence Ministers Meeting
    • 17–18——Madrid——EU-Latin America and Caribbean Summit
    • 21——Brussels——Internal Market, Consumers and Tourism Council
    • 23——Brussels——Culture and Audio-visual Council
    • 24–26——Brussels——Environment Council (Ministerial Informal)
    • 27–28——Brussels——Agriculture Council
    • 30——Brussels——Development Council
    • 30——Brussels——Education and Youth Council
    • 31–1 June——Brussels——Transport Council (Ministerial Informal)
  • June
    • 3——Brussels——Employment and Social Affairs Council
    • 3——Brussels——Eurogroup (Evening)
    • 4——Luxembourg——ECOFIN
    • 6–8——Brussels——Foreign Affairs Council (ASEM Ministers)
    • 6–7——Brussels——Industry and Energy Council
    • 10–11——Brussels——General Affairs Council
    • 10–11——Brussels——Agriculture Council
    • 528W
    • 11——Brussels——Fisheries Council
    • 13–14——Brussels——Justice and Home Affairs Council
    • 17–18——Brussels——Transport and Telecoms Council
    • 17–18——Brussels——General Affairs Council
    • 21–22——Seville——European Council
    • 24——Brussels——General Affairs Council (Evening)
    • 24–25——Brussels——Environment Council
    • 25——Luxembourg——ECOFIN
    • 26——Brussels——Health Council
  • July
    • 6——Copenhagen——ASEM Ministers for Finance
    • 12——Brussels——ECOFIN
    • 12–13——Kolding——Meeting of Employment and Social Policy Ministers (Informal)
    • 15–16——Brussels——Agriculture Council
    • 19——Brussels——Budget Meeting
    • 19–21——Arhus——Environment Ministers Meeting (Informal)
    • 22–23——Brussels——General Affairs Council August
    • 31–1——Elisnore——Gymnich (Ministerial Informal) September
    • 6——Brussels——ASEM Economic Ministers Meeting
    • 6–8——Copenhagen——ECOFIN (Ministerial Informal)
    • 8–10——Nyborg——Agriculture Council (Ministerial Informal)
    • 12–13——Copenhagen——Justice and Home Affairs Council (Ministerial Informal)
    • 22–23——Copenhagen——ASEM Meeting
    • 23–24——Brussels——Agriculture Council
    • 26——Brussels——Internal Market, Consumer Affairs and Tourism Council
    • 27——Tent——ACP-EU Ministers Meeting
    • 30——Brussels——General Affairs Council
    • 30——Brussels——Research Council