Mr. Bob Brown:
I regret that the hope expressed in reply to the hon. Member on 19th June has not yet been fulfilled. Progress has been made in discussions with the Bureau, and we are still hopeful that remaining points of difficulty will be resolved, but until then we are not in a position to make a statement.
Why has there been such a delay, particularly since negotiations have been going on for more than two years? Will the hon. Gentleman give an assurance that no difficulties have arisen over the appeal procedure, which is absolutely vital to the satisfactory working of any arrangement?
I share the hon. Gentleman's disappointment, but it takes two parties to negotiate and we cannot dictate to the Bureau. There are outstanding difficulties on points of complex detail which are too lengthy to give at the Despatch Box.