§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with the European Commission on ensuring the UK retains flexibility in implementing the Working Time Directive. 
§ Mr. Sutcliffe
Both my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and I have met the European Commission several times over the last year with a view to maintaining the flexibility currently given by the Working Time Directive. Indeed, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State hopes to discuss this issue further with Stavros Dimas, the new Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner, in the near future.