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1996 - PMQT Written Answers 11th June 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 11th June 1996.


PRIME MINISTER:

European Union (Non-co-operation)

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy not to relax the policy of non-co-operation with the EU and its institutions until the EU world-wide ban on exports of British beef has been lifted.

The Prime Minister: I made it clear in my statement of 21 May, Official Report, columns 99-101, that progress would not be possible in the intergovernmental conference or elsewhere until we had agreement on the lifting of the ban on beef derivatives--which we have now achieved--and a clear framework for the lifting of the wider ban.

Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the membership of the group set up to oversee the policy of non-co-operation with the EU; how often it is planned that it should meet; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 7 June 1996]: A committee meets regularly under my chairmanship to oversee the policy of non-co-operation. Members of the Committee include the Foreign Secretary and the Minister of State for Agriculture. Other Ministers are invited as appropriate.

I welcome the decision taken by the Commission on 5 June to lift the ban on beef derivatives with effect from 10 June. We now need early progress on agreement on a framework to lift the wider ban.

Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the occasions on which the United Kingdom has not co-operated with the European Union nations since he made his oral statement on 21 May, Official Report, columns 99-101; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 7 June 1996]: I made it clear in my statement of 21 May, Official Report, columns 99-101, that we would not be able to agree decisions requiring unanimity until the ban on beef derivatives was lifted and we have an agreement on a framework for the lifting of the wider ban.

I welcome the decision taken by the Commission on 5 June to lift the ban on beef derivatives with effect from 10 June. We now need early progress on agreement on a framework to lift the wider ban.

Since my statement on 21 May we have withheld agreement on over 60 measures at various EC meetings.


Health Risks (Tobacco and Beef)

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will discuss with Chancellor Kohl the health risk to Germans from (a) smoking tobacco and (b) eating British beef; and if he will instruct the United Kingdom representative to raise that issue at the European Court of Justice as evidence of discrimination against the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister: No. I have no plans to do so.


Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 11 June.

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 11 June.

The Prime Minister: This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.


Lockerbie

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Galbraith) of 17 May, Official Report, column 720, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of co-ordination between Government Departments in respect of the issuing of public interest immunity certificates in relation to the Lockerbie case; and what factors underlay their issue.

The Prime Minister: I understand that the interested Government Departments consulted with each other in connection with the signing of public interest immunity certificates by their respective Ministers. Public interest immunity was claimed in these certificates where the relevant Minister considered that it would be injurious to the public interest for particular matters to be the subject of evidence.


Mr. T. T. Tsui

Mr. Byers: To ask the Prime Minister on what dates in August 1991 he met in his official capacity Mr. T. T. Tsui at 10 Downing street; how many civil servants were present at the meeting; and what subjects were discussed.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 10 June 1996]: So far as I am aware, none.


Uniformed Services (Compensation)

Mr. Marlow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will review the circumstances in which damages or compensation are payable to (a) the police and (b) other uniformed services.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 7 June 1996]: No. Where someone claims negligence, it is for the courts to decide whether damages are payable, taking into account all relevant circumstances, which will sometimes include the applicant's occupation.