Live Foreign and Commonwealth Office Questions House of Commons

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Live Foreign and Commonwealth Office Questions

Live coverage of questions in the House of Commons to foreign secretary Boris Johnson and his ministerial team.

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in both Houses of Parliament at 11 o'clock tonight. But first we have


questions to the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and his ministerial


team. Hors d'oeuvre. City of London open


spaces bell, the chairman of ways and means to revival mission. The


question is on the order paper. I think the ayes have it. Middle level


Bill, the chairman of weather means to move the revival mission. I beg


to move. Objection. Objection taken. Motion to be taken what Dave.


Tuesday the 18th of July. Thank you. Cemetery Bill, Lords. Move the


revival mission. He is keen, very keen today. I beg to move. The


question is on the order paper. I think the ayes have it. Chairman of


ways and Means, to move, the motion for an returns. Thank you. Not so


much a nod as a magnificent bowel. -- bow. Mr Nigel Huddleston. Number


one, Mr Speaker. I should like to begin by congratulating a rock's


security forces for liberating Mosul from the grass of Daesh, the flag of


Iraq flies once more in the country's 's second city and I pay


tribute to the pilots who played a vital role in supporting this


operation, delivering more air strikes than anyone else apart from


the United States, I think the House can take pride in what they have


done. An illegal wildlife trade, I think we can be pleased with the


agreement be Prime Minister helped to secure IBG 20 summit in Hamburg


and I say to all honourable members, this is not about cracking down on


the trade in charismatic mega- fauna but of course in cracking down on


those who engaged not just in illegal wildlife trafficking but in


gun-running and people trafficking and much other human misery. We can


be proud of what we are doing. Nigel Huddleston. I applaud the efforts of


the Government is making in this area and I am pleased that the UK


will be hosting the illegal wildlife trade conference in 2018. Can the


Foreign Secretary confirm how much the money the department has


committed to tackling illegal wildlife trade and how the money is


being spent effectively? I can confirm that we are increasing our


contribution to ?26 million, another ?30 million to tackle illegal


wildlife trade and I have myself seen what UK finance projects are


doing in ten year to crack down on this while trade.


Mr Speaker, thank you, I say to the Foreign Secretary we have to give


there is a much greater priority than we do. Not only our Government


but across the world. Every single week it seems all mud it seems we


see programmes on television, 55 African elephants are poached every


single day. It is simply not good enough and the Foreign Secretary has


to make this a priority. It is not good enough for us to look at our TV


screens until sorry about it, we have to have a far greater


commitment to do something about it. I completely share the Passion of


the right honourable member. I would point out that the UK has been on


the lead on all this for several years now and we will be continuing


to push this agenda, not just at the T20 as the Prime Minister did, but


of course Attar IW teed summit that we are hosting next October in


London. With my right honourable friend tell us a little bit of the


strategy he is taken to approach this? The link between illegal what


I've trade, smuggling, people traffic like lawlessness and pilots


in many countries is extremely real and so addressing wildlife trade may


seem hysterical but it is not at all, it's about the stability of


many nations that farm partners of the United Kingdom. It is not only


touches the heart of millions of people in our country, it helps to


cause increased human misery because the same people are involved in


trading drugs, in arms, in human trafficking, worth up to ?30 billion


a year and we are playing a major part in frustrating that trade.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. There is increasing evidence that the UK's


legal ivory market has been used as described for an illegal trade. What


about them all-out ban on the ivory trade? The honourable gentleman we


know we have a commitment in this Government to all-out ban on the


sale of ivory in this country and that is what we intend to pursue.


Rachel McLean. Question number two, Mr Speaker. With your permission, I


will answer questions to answer for together. The Foreign Office


continues to support that... 14. The give and -- forgive me. My


department, my apologies. My department indeed used to support EU


exit negotiations and the Government works to strengthen our relations


with partners worldwide. As a champion of free trade, we will


continue to seize the opportunities afforded by Brexit I guarantee our


long-term global prosperity. Rachel McLean. Thank you, Mr Speaker. I


thank my right honourable friend for this answer. Businesses in my


constituency are looking to make the most of the opportunities of Brexit


provides for them. But can my right honourable friend ensure me that he


will work closely with the Department of trade, the Department


for exiting the EU to ensure businesses that are already trading


with the single market are given support to help build new export


markets for their goods and services around the world to ensure their


continued prosperity? Absolutely. I congratulate my


honourable friend on what I believe is her first question in this


chamber and I think it is a very good one and she can reassure her


constituents that, of course, not only will the excellent companies in


her constituency be able to continue to enjoy free trade with the rest of


the European Union, with the EU 27, but of course they will have the


additional opportunity afforded by the new free trade deals that we


will be able to strike with countries around the world. I am


pleased to say that they were queueing up to make that point to


the Prime Minister IBG 20 in Hamburg. Today is the feast Day of


Saint Benedict, the agency of Europe. He famously warned against


against the others. Will my right honourable friend please proclaim


that we do not want any murmuring from anybody against our vision of


an open, free trade in Europe, the best possible free-trade deal,


leading the world towards free trade and on tour prosperity? I think my


right honourable friend makes an excellent point. Members on both


sides of this House know very well, 85% of us were elected on a very


clear manifesto to come out of the European Union, to come out of the


single market and as the leader of the Labour Party has said to come


out of the customs union as well. Nothing could be clearer than that


and I think what the people of this country want us to do is to get on


and deliver a great Brexit and with the support of members opposite, I


have no doubt that we can achieve it. Ben Bradshaw. A transition


period of three years during which we will remain under the jury system


at the ECJ. Neither the Secretary of State has said any such thing. Cue


him being called second, I am not sure he minds. Hilary Benn. In


March, the Foreign Secretary said leaving the EU with no deal would be


perfectly OK. However, last month the Chancellor of the Exchequer said


that would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain. Since the two


positions are clearly completely contradictory, who should the


British public believe? I think what the British public can take from


both the Chancellor and myself and indeed from the vast majority of


Labour members opposite, as I understand, their position, that we


all want to get on and do the deal and do the best deal possible and to


leave the EU. Mr John Barron. The Australian Government which


negotiated free-trade deals with China, Japan and South Korea in very


short order by focusing on trade itself, rather getting bogged down


in disputes rather to standings and legalities and regulations. I agree


very much with what my right honourable friend has said and I


think with a bit of gumption and a bit of positive energy, there is no


limit to what we can achieve and we should get on and do it and of


course we cannot ink in the free-trade deals now but we can


certainly pencil in the outline. Yesterday, the Prime Minister 's


spokesman was reported as saying the transition rules could involve the


European Court of Justice for a limited time, that is a matter for


negotiation. That was the quake that was reported. Can the Foreign


Secretary confirmed this change in Government policy and set out the


rationale behind it? We are in the negotiation whose objective is to


out from under the penumbra of the European Court of Justice outside


the EU legal order and that is what we will achieve.


Since we joined the Common Market until the date we leave, we will


have given the EU a total of ?209 billion. Will the Foreign Secretary


make it clear that if they want a penny more, they can go and whistle?


I am sure my honourable friend the's words will have broke like a


thunderclap over Brussels and they will pay attention to what he has


said, and he makes a very valid point. I think these sermons I have


seen that they proposed to demand from this country seem to me at


extortionate, and I think to go whistle is an appropriate


expression. Will the Secretary of State ensure in the spirit of


cooperation the final Brexit deal is endorsed by the devolved parliaments


before it assigned? About as the honourable gentleman knows very


well, we work closely with the ministerial committee to bring in


the devolved administrations and to make sure the great deal we are


going to get has their endorsement and their approval. Further to the


question from the right honourable gentleman for Leeds Central, did my


right honourable friend he had a report on the today programme this


morning that other European leaders were making it clear that they would


not accept a deal on any terms, does he share my view that what is sauce


for the goose is sauce for the gander? May I congratulate my


honourable friend on his sixth child? Many congratulations on that.


He makes a good point about the negotiation stance of our friends


and partners across the Channel. They do sound at the moment they are


pretty hard over, as we see in the Foreign Office, but I have no doubt


in the fullness of time, a suddenness will descend and a


willingness to compromise, because a great Brexit deal, a grapefruit


trade deal, a deep and special partnership is in our interest --


great deal. Given the given the prime Mr's appeal to these benches


to help her out, where does the Foreign Secretary field there are


areas for compromise? As I said, I think the striking thing about this


debate is how much unanimity there is between the two sides of the


chamber on the fundamental questions. I've been very struck by


the right honourable gentleman, the leader of the Labour Party, he seems


to be very much on all fours with the objectives of the Brexit... I


don't wish... He very much agrees with the position we are taken, they


hope to see him in the lobbies with us. I hate to disagree with the


Foreign Secretary. While he is right to say the Leader of the Opposition


is fully behind the government, and these benches are fully behind the


Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, it is the opposition that is


hopelessly split on this issue. Is that not hindering the government's


negotiating position? It is not for me to comments on the ability of the


Labour leader to control his party, I take it they are all following


Labour policy, which is to come out of the EU, come out of the single


market. If they aren't, they can stand up now and buy their questions


portray their position. They are supporting the will of the British


people as expressed last year. If they wish to dissent from that, now


is the time. Can I start by welcoming the new Foreign Office


front bench in their positions? Back in July last year, I wrongly accused


them of being an all-male team. If only I'd waited a year. I would have


been correct. Mr Speaker, talking of female Tory MPs, the member of the


Newton Abbot use a disgusting racist phrase in her Commons at the East


India club. I hope the Foreign Secretary will join me in condemning


them. I hope you will agree offensive language deriving from the


era of American slavery has no place in modern society. The member of


Dean Abed was trying to ask a valid question. A question about what


would happen if Britain fails to reach a deal -- Newton Abbot. Can I


asked the Foreign Secretary to answer that question today? Can he


explain what that no deal option would mean to the people and


businesses of Great Britain? As I've said before, I think the chances of


such an outcome of vanishingly unlikely, since it is manifestly in


the interests of both sides of the Channel to get a great free trade


deal and new special partnership between us and the European Union,


and that is what we will achieve. Unfortunately, it leaves us in on


the wiser, it is baffling, it is the Prime Minister, at least for now, he


decided to put the deal of the no deal option on the table. She


couldn't stop using the phrase Junior election campaign, and now


are me ask what it means in practice, they refuse to tell us.


The Foreign Office, the Foreign Affairs Committee said in December,


I quote, the government should produce a new deal plan identifying


the likely consequences, and making proposals to mitigate potential


risks. Anything else would be a dereliction of duty. We cannot have


a repeat... Order. I apologise the interesting here, but he needs to


bring herself a single sentence, because there are lots of colleagues


who want to take place. Is normally succinct. Return to form. Given a


plan to no deal would be worse than that dereliction of duty, can I


asked the Foreign Secretary to spell out what no deal would mean, can you


reassure as it is not, at a very least he has a private plan to


manage the risk? There is no plan because we will get a great deal.


Just for the sake of example and alliteration, I would remind the


honourable lady that there was a time, I old enough to remember it,


when Britain was not in what we call the Common Market. Foreign officials


are working closely with colleagues to prepare for the 400th


anniversary, nine please Oliver Colville, the former member for


Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, has been appointed chair by the Prime


Minister, and they will make the most of the opportunity to


commemorate the legacy of the pilgrims and the special


relationship. Well, Mrs Biggar, I thought the Prime Minister wanted


help from the opposition bench -- Mr Speaker. I'm here available. The


re-elected co-chair of the pilgrims group. I was prepared to offer my


services to take on this role rather than on parliamentarians.


Nevertheless, can the good people expect support from this government


as promised by George Osborne to properly celebrate the fact that the


pilgrims and their legacy, including the modern United States, originates


in battered hall? At least eating claim that it has strong coastal


links, but we do welcome already his contribution to the House by the


comments he made on the 9th of March, reminding us of the


anniversary, it will be an historic opportunity for us to celebrate.


Across the sows, we will think of every possible way in which we can


do so to best effect. The importance of the anniversary can hardly be


overstated. Would it not be a more suitable dates for a state visit


from the president of the United States to have it in 2020 to mark


this, rather than in the months to come? I note the suggestion, but


that matter is already in train, and the visit offered to the president


stands. I thank my right honourable friend because the UK is in the lead


on this issue helping Ukraine to make the vital reforms that need to


do and to continue on a cracking down on corruption, which is so


important if we are to encourage a long-term and continued investment


in a successful Ukraine. Can I congratulate my right honourable


friend on the organisation last week of the Ukraine reform conference in


London? It demonstrates that Britain will continue to play a leading role


on the world stage. But can he confirm that whilst Ukraine still


faces major challenges, progress is being made in areas like tackling


corruption, and canny see what more we can do to assist them? May I get


the ball back over the net by congratulating my right honourable


friend on the coming chair on the Ukraine all-party group? We all in


this House have a clear interest in a strong and successful Ukraine, not


why we've invested another 33 million in helping Ukrainians to


tackle the problems of governance. The House should be in no doubt


about what is going on in Ukraine. This is an arm wrestle, if you like,


between two value systems come our way of looking at the world and the


Russian way, and it is vital for our continent and vital for this country


that Alloway prevails, and we're British help, I believe it is


prevailing and will prevail. So far there has in a single sign of all


the efforts Britain has rightly made in relation to Ukraine, paying


dividends in terms of Russia stopping its corrupt meddling in


that country. He is right the fault lies with Russia, they annexed


Crimea, they drive the problem in the Donbas region. What you are


seeing from the UK, and by the way, we are contributing the efforts to


stave off that Russian military meddling with a non-lethal equipment


that we've agreed to send to Ukraine. But more importantly, we


are engaging, held the Ukrainians to sort out their domestic, political


scene, to crack down on Russia. To be fair to Ukrainians, they aren't


only seeing 4% growth, depending on the figures you believe, but they


have made more progress in cracking down on corruption in the last three


years than in the last 25 years. A very different country is being


born. Our bilateral relationship is strong because it is a deep bond of


friendship rooted in our shared histories and common values. We look


forward to strengthening those ties over the coming years and have


agreed to hold regular strategic talks to maximise the full potential


of this important bilateral relationship. I thank the Minister


that response. Canadian investment is important and my consistency and


across the UK. As we move forward in leaving the EU, seeking a free-trade


deal with Canada, however relationship will be more important,


as is specifically our relationship with the provincial governments. Do


we have the network in place across Canada to make sure we are making


the best of those relationships? On behalf the House, I express our


sympathy to all those in British Columbia who been affected by the


damaging wildfires in that province. Our Consulate general in Calgary,


Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver do work for a provincial governments to


increase bilateral trade, particularly in the infrastructure


sector. We are working across all levels of the Canadian government to


ensure British companies can take full advantage of the opportunities


offered by the Canada EU, rent of economic and trade agreement. Is he


not aware, I have strong family relationships and Canada, is he not


aware that senior diplomats in Canada are absolutely aghast at the


way in which this government is handling our withdrawal from Europe


and its impact on world trade? They believe the swashbuckling sector


ministers are not the right people. I have to say, positive energy and


gumption won't give us a good deal in Europe. We need people who have a


eye for detail, this Foreign Secretary has no idea about detail!


I simply don't recognise the analysis right honourable gentleman


has offered the House on any matter he's just mention. May I say, I


think I were opportunities for future trade with Canada will be


enormous once we've left the European Union. I thank the


Minister, 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the Canadian


Confederation, and our two nations face together some of the most


difficult challenges in our history in that period. Will he agree that


actually with those relationships, provides a great relationship to


build on and reject the nonsense we just heard? Yes, I agree


emphatically. We also offer our congratulations to Canada on the


anniversary of Canadian Confederation. We are please the


Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were able to join


celebrations in Ottawa to mark the celebration. On a practical basis,


the Foreign Secretary met Foreign Minister last week and agreed to


hold talks to ensure we can maximise the full potential of this important


and close by that relationship way beyond the expectations of the right


honourable gentleman opposite. Thank you, Mr Speaker. We have a


strong and wide-ranging relationship with the Philippines on prosperity,


education and security issue. Ministerial visits to the


Philippines and annual high-level talks between officials help a graph


that corporation. Most recently, my right honourable friend was there as


recently as last December and this enables us to discuss concerns about


human rights was pursuing closer diplomatic and trade links. Mr


Speaker, my skin constituency has been held in Philippines since 2008.


Sentence on to produce foreign employment defence. They have failed


to acknowledge a clemency request despite his poor health. Concerns


about the safety of the institution and his parents worried they will


not see him again. Well my honourable friend set out what is


being done to support his family's efforts to bring him home?


May I thank for his work over the many years on behalf of Mr Taylor's


parents in North Swindon. We have been providing ongoing well for


support to Kevin Taylor since his arrest almost ten years ago. Most


recently a visit in prison and we have liaised with his parents only


yesterday. Our consulates are bought as extended to delivering funds and


vitamins, medical points after Mr Taylor brought his health concerns


to our attention. A clemency request was made as recently as 2015 that I


reassure my honourable friend we will do our level best to continue


this work and I will be in touch without apartment to ask to redouble


his efforts in the days ahead. Thank you, Mr Speaker. In the year since


the president of Philippines took ASBOs, 13,000 people have been


killed. He has threatened to extend martial law across the entire


country and last week, he said he would eat the livers of terrorists


with salt and vinegar. But the Secretary of State for International


Development claims that Britain has shared values with the president.


Could the Minister tell the House which values we share with the


President? The honourable lady will recognise the shared values in


relation to international trade and we need to recognise that. Indeed


with all dedication, it is not an issue of ditching anything else, I,


like the honourable lady, concerned about the high death toll in the war


on illegal drugs has come to a head in his role. We have been urging


much more thorough independent instigation at all violent deaths


that have taken place I would say that from our perspective, we have


repeatedly and will continue to raise human rights concerns with the


administration and I will be doing so with Manila and I have at some to


be visiting to make light of the Kaci made. -- the case she has made.


Pay tribute to the campaigns on the subject, our policy in relationship


to Zimbabwe kiddies used to be to balance out the best days of the


horrifying record of Bieber Gabi regime -- Mugabe and the people have


suffered terribly over the last 40 years. Can I welcome the honourable


member to his position and wish him every success in it? $53 million was


spent by Mugabe on private travel overseas last year, the same time


the United Kingdom paying proportionally more in UK aid to


that country than any other country in Africa. Does he think that


perhaps with the election is coming next year and Mugabe refusing to


permit the 20 13th Constitution, now is the time to put some of that


money into helping voter education in those rural areas can show? Thank


you, Mr Speaker. The answer is that I agree. We are trying to balance a


very difficult thing which is the terrible performance of the Mugabe


regime with a country where people have been dying of cholera,


suffering extreme him a humour tarry in need. Focusing on free and fair


elections is one of the first things we can do in a country like


Zimbabwe. The policy of incremental engagement with Zimbabwe is the be


best, sometimes an unpalatable best policy. But with the Minister


consider in the near term actually visiting Zimbabwe, which would be a


great step forward and prospered the UK in a better position for


relationships longer term? The honourable member has huge expertise


is African Minister. The decision on whether or not I as a minister were


to visit Zimbabwe depends a great deal on the genuine commitment to


the Zimbabwe Government towards reform and I will be guided by the


ambassador of the country as to when such a visit would be necessary and


possible. Number eight.


We are in costs contact with our international counterparts,


including most recently at the organisation of American States


summit last month. I issued a very strong statement on the 6th of July,


utterly condemning the 5th of July attack on Venezuela's national


assembly and its elected members and calling for the Venezuelan


Government to uphold the Constitution and show respect for


democratic institutions and the statement was echoed by many


political colleagues across the world mark.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Leader of the Opposition described the regime


in Venezuela is offering an alternative agenda from which we


could learn. The alternative agenda has seen the economy collapse,


poverty increase, dozens of people, scores of people killed in civil


unrest and now an attempt to undermine both the elected Congress


and the independent Attorney General. Will my right honourable


friend confirm that Her Majesty's Government strongly condemns the


attempt by the regime to rewrite the constitution and rock out democracy?


The Leader of the Opposition does seem to be a great fan of the


Venezuelan Government. A passable impression himself as Fidel Castro


won sometimes things. What is happening to the Venezuelan economy


gives us a very clear indication of what would happen to the UK economy


if ever the right honourable gentleman were Prime Minister.


Mr Speaker, what practical steps have been taken to deal with famine


on the border between Venezuela and Colombia by the British Government?


There are no easy such attempts. We do not have a bilateral programme


that are in touch with the United Nations. But the very question of


the honourable lady does illustrate the extent to which the Venezuelan


Government has driven their own people to poverty, running very


short of some of the most basic goods on which they have to live.


Number nine, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker. We readily raise these


issues with Israel, calling for a reversal of the policy of settlement


expansion. I reiterated that in the House of Commons last week but also


recently both the Foreign Secretary and myself have made statements


strongly condemning proposals the new settlement expansion in both the


West Bank and East Jerusalem. Mr Speaker, only last week the


right-wing Israeli Government announced a further expansion of the


illegal settlement programme so it is clear that whatever action the


British Government is taking, it is not working. It is not time Her


Majesty's Government to more response to this problem? Ensuring


the proper labelling of all importing goods so that they are


designated as coming from an illegally occupied Palestinian


territory. This is a long and difficult


process, as the honourable gentleman rightly dies. We have a policy in


relation to labelling and continued conversations will go on with the


state of Israel in relation to, as last week, the suggestion that the


edge of the new housing units being built and East Jerusalem. But it is


a complex process, the United Kingdom does not believe in boycotts


of sanctions, but clear labelling has been that the sometimes


consumers can take their choice. We have contributed to a number of


structures, EU structures that have been demolished. Will he asked the


Government of Israel for our money back? Mr Speaker, I think my right


honourable friend is referring to some work done by the EU. The EU has


not sought compensation from the state of Israel in relation to this


and no decision has been taken on any further action.


Settlements are a barrier but they are far from the only barrier to


peace. The building blocks for the peace process is our trade and


economic development in the West Bank and supports the coexistent


projects to get them working together. Funding for which, I'm


afraid, this Government has stopped. Can I asked the minister whether he


will reinstate funding to the coexistent projects to build the


priest projects? The honourable gentleman understands this issue


extremely well and a extreme bill-mac -- I agree there are


building blocks and settlements are by far from the only barrier in


relations to that. Trade and investment remains very important.


We will be looking further out what prospects are for any new


initiatives. I'm aware of the coexistent projects that he mentions


and certainly I will be having a look about wearing my joint


responsibilities. Mr Speaker, we are glad to see the


Mr back working on this issue. But this is the second time in the space


of a week when the Foreign Secretary has declined to speak about middle


east and evolve the job to him instead. And that follows his


failure even to mention Israel or Palestine in the Tory election


manifesto. So I simply ask the Minister, when are we going to hear


the Foreign Secretary stand up and condemn these new illegal


settlements? The other day, this week. I did it this week. Can I find


the honourable lady for her warm welcome and enjoy being back in this


role, no matter what is broken at me in response to it. Can I say the


Foreign Secretary strongly condemned the proposals that were announced at


the West Bank quite recently. But I like to feel he has confidence in


his Minister for the Middle East. As he has confidence in his soul missed


a team to answer appropriate questions but I have never known him


to be shy of answering a question when necessary. Question Time, Mr


Speaker. Thank you, Mr Speaker. United Kingdom was instrumental, Mr


Speaker, in securing the Paris agreement on climate change. We are


helping other countries to meet their targets and we are confident


that we will be able to meet our own ground-breaking target of reducing


emissions by 18% by 2050. I thank the Foreign Secretary for his


answer. Last week, Downing Street said the primers are intended to


challenge President Trump on climate change at the G20 meeting. With this


and how have been better done before he announced he was pulling out of


the Paris agreement than after? As I have told the House before, we made


our views very clear to the US administration, repeatedly we have


expressed dismay that they have withdrawn. But on the other hand, I


think all members on both sides of the House should acknowledge in all


fairness that the United States has made and continues to make, even


under this initiation, continues to make substantial progress in


reducing greenhouse gases. This country has reduced CO2 by 42% since


1990, despite a 67% increase in GDP. The United States has achieved,


report progress and we intend to encourage them on that path.


Following the isolation of Donald Trump at last week G20 Summit, on


the issue of the Paris agreement, further postponement of the trip to


the UK, can I ask the sexual simple question. Does the Government regard


President John is the leader of the free world, is so, how would they


rate the job he is doing... As a mark out of ten? -- president Trump.


We certainly regard the achievement of the Prime Minister as


considerable as getting the US president to sign up actually to the


G20 agreement on climate change, as she did. She is instrumental in


getting the Americans to endorse. Getting the Americans to sign up to


the communique and I think members on all sides of the House will


appreciate that whatever disagreements they have with the


current incumbent of the White House, the president of the United


States is the leader of our most important ally and he deserves that


and respect for the consideration of this country. Question 11, Mr


Speaker. With the Foreign Secretary's permission, ensuring the


promotion of human rights and engaging with this next essential


part of the global policy of Britain, ministers meet their


cultivars readily and raise issues, gender equality, modern slavery,


freedom of belief and religion, the death penalty and torture. It is an


essential part is who we are the United Kingdom and the Foreign


Commonwealth Office. Back in March, the UN human rights Council to


commit atrocities. Women being raped by the security forces. Does the


Minister agree that the perpetrators of such crime be brought to justice


as a matter of urgency? And can he tell us what


I was recently in Burma and was able to reaffirm the United Kingdom's


sport for the Independent United Nations commission. This is a


difficult issue being wrestled with by those in Burma. And the UK


remains very close to the humanitarian needs of the people


there. The World Trade Organisation estimates three out only for trade


deals include provisions to improve human rights, is what discussions


has my honourable friend been having with his colleagues in the


Department of trade to make sure our new trade deals include obligations


to improve human rights where it is appropriate? My right honourable


friend is right, ensuring human rights are an essential part of the


future policy of the UK in terms of trade deals. As these issues are


raised now, it's an important part of future and will continue to be a


key part of our prosperity drive. Following the arrest of amnesty


International Turkey director, they are examples of the worrying shift


away from respected human rights in Turkey. What steps has the Foreign


Secretary himself taken to ensure the immediate and unconditional


release of these two people? The right honourable lady knows these


issues extremely well. My right honourable friend the Foreign


Secretary has raised this with his counterpart on the Prime Minister


raise this as the T20 were the president of Turkey -- G20. This


remains an important issue. On his recent visit to Burma, did he


encourage the Burmese government to allow full access and cooperate


fully with the fact-finding machine looking into human rights issues in


that country. Yes, indeed. It is a difficult issue but we've made it


very clear that the UN independent report need full consideration. We'd


urge the government to do all they can to facilitate what the UN needs


to complete its work. There is an internal investigation already been


carried out by the Burmese government.


We have been able to gain access through our console. What efforts


are being made to ensure the human rights and the medical needs of the


two people in prison are being protected? Mr Speaker, I met with


the family last week. I've raised this issue directly with my


counterpart, the Deputy Foreign Minister of around, and the Iranian


ambassador. We remain concerned about this and other consulate cases


involving around. I can assure the lady we will continue to raise these


at the highest issue. Briefly from the front bench. As a government


celebrated his victory in the High Court over arms sales to Saudi


Arabia, number of people affected by the cholera epidemic in Yemen past


300,000. Humanitarian workers face a choice of using it twinkling food


supplies to be those children suffering from malnutrition or those


infected with cholera. In that context, can the Minister told the


House wired the Saudi led Coalition continues to use British bombs to


attack farms, food factories and water plants? The judgment by the


gorgeous today was unequivocal in saying the United Kingdom had fully


fulfilled its obligations under the control of the arms trade. And also


the work that was being toured with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in


relation to its response to international humanitarian law was


fundamental to that judgment. The situation in Yemen remains a


humanitarian disaster, the actor Kingdom is involved in seeking to do


all it can, the cholera outbreak has taken some 6500 cases each day. I am


pleased we are fully engaged and tried to do all we can to mitigate


these actions -- United Kingdom. He is new, I thought I was new, too.


I am concerned the democratic freedoms continue to face


fundamental restrictions in the Maldives. Pressure, including


arrests has grown. Human rights activists, the media art under


threat. The government raise these issues frequently with the Maldives


government and we led the recent UN statement in the gene human rights


Council. My right honourable friend will know that a Coalition of


opposition parties in the Maldives, led by the former president,


committed to democracy and proving relations with this country, has


secured a majority in that country's parliament. Does he share my concern


is that the regime may resort to legal means to prevent Parliament


from properly functioning in that country? I am very concerned is at


that prospect. I have to say, no one's hands in recent years in any


part of the political environment in the Maldives have been entirely


clean. It has not been a happy situation across the board. The


biggest regret we have on this site is the Maldives unilaterally left


the Commonwealth in 2016, and I hope a new regime will bring them back


into the international regime in this way. Firstly we should pay


tribute to what United States has done with its peacekeeping budget.


It provides well over a quarter of the global peacekeeping budget. Over


$2 billion a year, which has not eligible, so we need to pay tribute


and encourage them to play the role, that essential part. And then


sticking to the Congressional limit of 25% is vital for the UN


peacekeeping operations. Does the Minister agree the loss of financial


support from the US will be devastating, such as the world food


programme Will they get them to reconsider their planned cuts? It is


right, in the current global situation, UN peacekeeping


operations are vital. But reforms can be introduced. The move to close


on the peacekeeping operation in Ivory Coast, we can reduce costs and


peacekeeping. It is vital the States and others continue play a strong


role, and support from United States has been vital for the last 50 years


and we hope it will continue to be. Topical questions. Can I just remind


colleagues in this Parliament, topical questions are sure to be as


-- supposed to be shorter. My priority is to help resolve tensions


in the Gulf where Britain has all friendships and vital interests,


that's why I've just returned from visits to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and


cut. I reinforce the need for dialogue. I will the summit in


Trieste tomorrow, whether UK is playing a vital role in guaranteeing


stability and resisting Russian ambitions. Yesterday in Kashmir,


seven Hindu pilgrims were brutally murdered by terrorists, including


five women whilst undergoing it. What action has my right honourable


friend taken to condemn this outrage? Waterboard will he give to


recovering and bringing to justice the terrorists who we believe are in


Pakistan -- what will he give? The whole issue is something we are in


close contact with. I give the issuer and we will bring this up in


the course of the next 24 hours and as for a plan of action in the wake


he has asked. Does the Foreign Secretary agree that if there's to


be an extension of military action in Syria, there should be a full


debate and vote in this House? That is for the Leader of the House to


consider, I can tell him that no such request has been made. I must


say I think the difference in the current American administration's


attitude, many people on the other side of the House, is to be


welcomed. As America appears to be volunteering we surrendering power,


and from the main platform of our interest in the several decades, it


is not vital the Foreign Office address is substantially to beef up


our dramatic effort so we may retain our prosperity, security and our


influence abroad? I'm delighted to welcome him to a cause I think is


gathering strength across both sides of the House of Commons, everybody


understands, global Britain must be properly supported. We have a


world-class network of embassies, 278, the best foreign service in the


world, but they do need proper financing and proper support. The


Foreign Secretary has spoken in the past about his ardent opposition to


female genital meat elation. We'll he therefore have a word with the


Home Secretary who is yet to respond to be -- mutilation. She is


threatened with deportation. I raise it with the Prime Minister and have


yet to receive an answer. I heard her raised this before. I'm sure the


case of her constituent is indeed very troubling. I'm sure the Home


Secretary will have picked up what she's had to say today. I welcome


the part played by purchase forces in stabilising the threat posed by


Daesh. What does he and British forces for ensuring that such an


insurgency does not recur? I thank him for an excellent question. It is


one thing but others to drive Daesh out of Ozil, but we must make sure


the reasons they sprouted in those cities do not recur and that this


study -- the Sunni minority have the confidence in their country. Not


since the Suez crisis has a UK Government been so combines of the


defeated at the United Nations, as it was last week. In this week's


spirit of bipartisan cooperation, should the Foreign Secretary would


not grant the right of return? I must respectfully disagree with the


gentleman opposite. We secured rather more positive votes than we


had expected. As it happens, the other side of the case got fewer


than half the members of the UN in support of their cause. I think that


most impartial observers of the matter would agree their case has


been substantially weakened as a result, not that it was a strong


case to begin with. Last week Palestinian president said he would


continue paying prisoner salaries to people who are murdered innocent


civilians. Does the Foreign Secretary agree with me that there


is nowhere we will have peace in the Middle East unless there are


projects and support for coexistence on the Palestinian side? My


honourable friend is right, there are a number of barriers on the


Palestinian side to be able to make progress. Support for incitement and


terror is one of those, we are looking carefully to make sure no


payments go in the wrong direction. It is true the Palestinian authority


need to look very hard to make sure it is not giving the wrong signals


as we try to make progress on the middle East peace process.


Will the Minister pick up the phone to the opposite numbers in India, do


a deal to get the men deported so we can have a pint in Chester before


the summer is out? I do appreciate the persistent with which he


campaigns from his constituents, and his raise it with me. I have in turn


raises myself personally with my Indian counterparts. What they say


to me is they cannot interfere in their own court system anymore than


we can interfere in our own quarters. That is where the massacre


of your stance, but I want to assure him we continue to raise him on that


issue. Does my right arm friend agree we


have, as we leave the EU, a great opportunity to boost our mutual


trade and security interests by enhancing our diplomatic relations


with Ghana and other Commonwealth countries? I want to pay tribute to


the right honourable member, Ghana is one of the most impressive recent


of ultimate in Africa, three recent transitions of democratic power, a


rapidly growing economy and huge example of how we moved to the


Commonwealth, the Commonwealth can become one of the great success


stories of Britain's next five years. The Paralympic games in Rio


were a great success, showing inspirational talent and importance


of sports included worldwide. What discussions has a foreign of us had


with Japanese counterparts to lend our full support to the Tokyo


Paralympic games going forward? I thank you right honourable lady


for her question. A huge amount of work is going on. But also very


importantly, she rightly says, the Shia organisation and we are working


very closely to make sure there is a seamless progress between 2012. I


think it is going to be a great success, the Paralympic games in


Tokyo. In the next few weeks, the HR Government from Libya are coming


over here to visit the UK. I am wondering if my right honourable


friend or any of the friend bench would like to meet them when they


come over here because they play a pivotal role in keeping peace in


Libya. Mr Speaker, an expansion of the Libyan political agreement we


believe is necessary to move matters along. There is a lot happening on


the political and business side and Libya as it gets back on its feet.


Her be happy to meet those whom I honourable friend wants to bring


forward. Given the collapse of the talks in Cyprus and that the


Government remains a guarantor of the process, what is the Government


going to do now? Mr Speaker, very sadly, the cyber stalks on which


people have done so much work for over two years collapse in the early


hours of Friday morning. -- these I press talks. This was a once in a


generation trustee reunify the island. Sadly it has been missed and


rejected so we go back to the status quo and it is enormous pity indeed,


a tragedy for future generations that agreement was not reached.


In view of the continuing concerns about human rights in Hong Kong,


does my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary intend to make any


further representation on the joint declaration? I hope my honourable


friend will be assured that the UK has been very active in emphasising


the significance of this joint British decoration which is a


legally binding treated richly with the UN and continues to be


reinforced today. Join my own meeting with the Chinese ambassador


I stress the UK's strong commitment to the joint declaration. We urge


the Chinese and the Hong Kong and mistress and governors and all


politicians in Hong Kong to retain from any actions that Bill Clinton


or undermine confidence in the one country two systems principle. The


Foreign Secretary has rightly underlined the UK US relations in


this new role. The relationship is collect the light by cultural


programmes which are now in peril by President Trump's proposal to cut


47% from the budget. Will he make representations to underline how we


think the programme should be expanded and pushed to the point of


extinction? I stand here as a Kennedy scholar which is a very


similar sort of structure and we have a fantastic programme of


scholars sponsored by the front office. My right honourable friend


has confirmed that he will raise the issue of scholarships with secretary


to listen when he next season. With a quart of a million people now


refugees as a result of the repression in human rights abuses in


that country, what is the Foreign Secretary doing to stimulate


dialogue to resolve the political impasse that? The situation in Bindi


is very disturbing, we call upon all on the brilliant president to --


upon the President and leading the peace talks in Burundi as in so many


countries in the war, the only long-term solution is a political


salutes you -- solution to a crisis. Friends of Syria to discuss the


desperate need to get more aid to the hundreds of thousands being


starved to death in Syria. I thank the honourable gentleman for his


persistence in pursuing this cause and he is absolutely right, we have


spoken across the chamber many times about the humanitarian crisis in


Syria. I will have great pleasure in meeting the Syria group to discuss


what the UK is doing by the House will know that this country is the


single, the second-biggest contributor of humanity relief aid


to Syria in the wild. Whilst I welcome the fact that the Prime


Minister raise the issue of the at the G20, can he focuses efforts on


the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and seek a meeting with her urgently, it


is almost four years have our bodies have been languishing in jail there.


I visited them myself. It is time they were brought home. My right


honourable friend is absolutely right. He suggests an interesting


avenue for further work. I will look at the possibility of talking to the


Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Whether we will be more successful


in her in making our points, I wore ascertained. We will leave no stone


unturned. Mr Speaker, last week at the same time as represented ?57


were meeting in the next, they were convicting a human rights activist


the charges on which defence witnesses were not allowed to


testify. The defendant was taken to hospital during the trial and it was


convicted in his absence. What action the Government is taking to


make sure the authorities in Belarus... The most important thing


we can do is enhance our bilateral relations by visitor. No minister


has visited Belarus for many years and I intend to do so at the


earliest opportunity. As well as the physical rebuilding


of Mosul, the Iraqi constitution allows for them to regain power,


looking at devolving power to the people of Mosul. I am grateful to my


honourable friend. He is right that Iraq is an ethnically divided


country, religiously divided country, we must make sure that


everybody feels properly represented in the new constitution and


evolution to Mosul is certainly an option that we will be exploring.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. Before he meets the friends of Syria group,


will he discussed a comrade is a strategy to protect civilians with


the Department for International Development and a Ministry of


Defence and we can have a proper joint strategy at last? I can tell


the honourable lady that is already happening. Extremely grateful to the


Foreign Secretary. I recognise there is so unsatisfied demand but not as


much as they might have been if I had not overrun which I was pleased


to do and I'm sure the Foreign Secretary was equally