§ John McDonnell
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact of the General Agreement on Trade in Services upon(a) teaching and research and (b) the knowledge economy. 
§ Nigel Griffiths
We have just completed a public consultation on the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and are now analysing the responses received. GATS might only have an impact upon teaching, research and the knowledge economy if we were minded to meet liberalisation requests made to us by our trading partners in relevant areas. The UK negotiates in the WTO as part of the European Community. We have yet to see the Commission's draft proposals on which requests they suggest the EC might meet in the offer to be tabled in the WTO by the end of March 2003. Their proposals will be discussed with the Department for Education and Skills and the Devolved Administrations, as part of our internal assessment process.