To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will introduce interest free bridging finance for road hauliers affected by the dispute in France, pending receipt of compensation from the French Government. 
The Government was pleased to note the promise made by M. Jospin, the French Prime Minister, last week that claimants affected by the blockades in France a year ago will know within three months whether their claims will be met. The Government will be pressing the French Government to ensure that all claims arising from the recent blockades are dealt with sympathetically and promptly.Compensation claims against the French Government must be made under French Law and by those affected; the UK Government is not directly involved. Unfortunately, many of those adversely affected by the dispute are unlikely to be eligible under French law for compensation. In the circumstances the approach suggested by the hon. Member would not be appropriate.