(2) what assessment he has made of the European Commission's position on the EU-wide ban on the import of seal products; and if he will make a statement.
The European Commission is currently conducting a study of the Canadian seal hunt in order to assess the need for EU-wide action.
The Government decided to pursue EU-wide measures because national measures would be impossible to enforce under EU single market rules.
However we continue to believe that EU wide measures are the only effective way of banning seal products from the UK. The EU is a single trading market and therefore national bans could not prevent seal products being imported via other member states, such as Denmark and Finland. The UK does not intend to introduce a measure that could be so easily circumvented, as it would not prevent the cruelty that the public is concerned about. For these reasons the Government considered national ban and rejected it.