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Temporary Workers

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps her Department is taking to help improve the competitiveness of Britain's temporary worker market. [93399]

Alan Johnson: The Department of Trade and Industry is seeking to maintain a modern and effective regulatory framework for temporary agency work. To this end we have consulted on proposed changes to the conduct of employment agencies and employment business regulations, and also on the proposed European Union directive on temporary agency work.

Third-world Producers

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will support the right of poor country governments to provide targeted support and protection for their local producers. [91607]

Ms Hewitt: Flexibilities for developing countries (with additional flexibilities for the least developed countries) to retain some targeted support and protection for their local producers already exist within all WTO trade defence instruments agreed in the Uruguay Round.

The Government recognise that trade reform can have significant adverse effects on particular sectors and groups, especially in the short-term. This is why it is important that trade reform is accompanied by complementary policies to manage the process of change and integration into the world trading system. This may include some measures to promote indigenous industrial development. But the evidence of the benefits of specific tariff protection is mixed so the Government do not see it as a particularly useful tool to foster economic growth and therefore poverty reduction. Greater protectionism by developing countries limits

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the opportunities for poor countries to trade both with each other and with developed countries, excluding them further from the benefits of international trade.

The Government also believe that existing WTO agreements should take better account of countries' specific development needs. Therefore, within the current Doha Development Agenda negotiations we support the further development of Special and Differential Treatment provisions to assist developing countries to integrate into the world trading system.

Trade Liberalisation

Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in the GATS negotiations with ensuring that impact assessments are made on the liberalisation of trade. [91352]

Ms Hewitt: The negotiating guidelines and procedures drawn up by WTO members for the current GATS negotiations call for impact assessment to be an on-going activity of the Council, with the negotiations adjusted in the light of the results of the assessment.

In March 2002, the Services Council held a two-day symposium devoted to impact assessment. All the papers tabled for that symposium are publicly available on the WTO website at—e/serv—e/symp—assessment—serv—march02—e.htm.

UK Space Strategy

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the objectives of the UK Space Strategy 1999 to 2002 were met; and if she will make a statement. [91656]

Ms Hewitt: The objectives set out in the United Kingdom Space Strategy 1999 to 2002, 'New Frontiers', were: to help industry maximise profitable business opportunities in the development and exploitation of space systems which improve the quality of life and enhance choice for consumers; to pursue the highest quality astronomy and space science; to improve our understanding of the Earth's environment and natural resources; to foster the development of innovative technology, its commercial exploitation and its application to research; and to communicate the results and their significance to a broad audience.

I am satisfied that we have made good progress towards each of these objectives. The Strategy included a large number of key actions to monitor the implementation of the Strategy. Details of the actions and progress made have been made publicly available on the BNSC website:

These long-term objectives have been further refined. I published a new draft Strategy for public consideration on 22 January 2003, Official Report, column 13WS. This further focuses on the use of space systems throughout the economy. Copies of the draft Strategy have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and the text is available on the BNSC website. We aim to publish the final Strategy later this year.

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Airport Capacity

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will complete his review of airport capacity in the south east of England. [93610]

Mr. Spellar: The consultation period, throughout the UK, has been extended until we have consulted on Gatwick runway options. We intend to issue a revised south east consultation paper next month. The consultation period will then run for four months after the date of publication of the new material. Those who have already responded to the consultation will be able to amend, add to, or replace their response having considered the new material, if they wish to do so.

All responses to the consultation will be considered and analysed carefully before final decisions are taken. These will be set out in an air transport White Paper, which we aim to publish towards the end of the year.


Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward proposals to sections 28 and 29 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 so that the provisions in respect of dangerous or careless riding of bicycles apply to bicycles ridden on a public footpath which is not adjacent to a road. [94053]

Mr. Jamieson: This amendment is not necessary as a public footpath is a highway and therefore a 'road' for the purposes of sections 28 and 29 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.


Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to reply to the letter of the hon. Member for Reigate and East Surrey of 17 December 2002, concerning Redhill Aerodrome. [93785]

Mr. Jamieson: The letter to which the hon. Member refers was received in the Department on 30 December 2002 and acknowledged on the same day. A reply was sent on 27 January 2003.


Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of carbon dioxide emissions from transport from 1997 to 2002; and if he will make a statement. [93824]

Mr. Jamieson: Carbon dioxide emissions from transport between 1997 and 2001 (including from domestic aviation) were estimated to be as follows:

Million tonnes of carbon

By 'end user'By 'source'

'End user' figures include a share of the emissions from fuel processing industries and the combustion of fossil fuels at power stations, whereas the 'source' figures do not. The 1997 to 2000 figures are published in "Transport Statistics Great Britain, 2002 Edition" and are obtained from the National Environmental Technology Centre (NETCEN). Only 'source' figures are available for 2001 and these are provisional estimates derived from DTIs "Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics 20022. No estimates are available yet for 2002.

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Illegal Immigrants

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many illegal immigrants were recorded as entering the UK via UK ports in each year since 1997, broken down by region; and what the estimates were in each year. [93242]

Beverley Hughes: I have been asked to reply.

I regret that information on the number of illegal immigrants recorded as entering at UK ports is not available.

Light Aircraft

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to reduce noise from light aircraft using grass airstrips in rural England. [93696]

Mr. Jamieson: Light aircraft have to comply with an internationally agreed noise certification standard, unless they were on the UK register prior to 1980. This standard was tightened for aircraft certificated after 1999. There are currently no plans for additional measures to reduce aircraft noise from light aircraft using grass airstrips in rural England. It is the responsibility of all aerodromes to ensure that appropriate rules are set and enforced to minimise noise nuisance.

M60 (Flooding)

Andrew Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions flooding has occurred on the stretch of the M60 between Denton and Hollinwood since it opened; how many accidents on this stretch have been attributed to flooding; who designed this stretch of motorway; what plans he has to undertake work to rectify design faults; and what estimate he has made of the cause of flooding in each case. [93420]

Mr. Jamieson: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Tim Matthews to Mr. Andrew Bennett, dated 29 January 2003:

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