Live Foreign and Commonwealth Office Questions House of Commons


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committee to be considered.

Consideration what day?

Wednesday

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the 20th of February at 4pm.

Wednesday the 28th of February at

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4pm. Questions to the Secretary of

State for foreign and, love affairs.

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Question number one Mr Speaker.

The

Foreign Secretary has spoken to the

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Turkish Foreign Minister about the

operation, we have called for

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de-escalation for the protection of

civilians whilst recognising

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Turkey's legitimate interest in the

security of its borders and it

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remains in our shared interest to

achieve a political settlement in

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Syria.

Thank you for that answer but

does the Foreign Secretary

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recognised the Kurdish led

administration in Afrin has built a

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secular democratic system that has

worked collaboratively with the

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international community to defeat

so-called Islamic State most

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recently in Raqqa and does he accept

the international committee owes a

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debt of honour to the Kurds and

wealthy step up the efforts to stop

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the bloodshed in and around Afrin. I

understand what is being said but we

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must recognise the legitimate

security interests of Syria and

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having launched operation olive

branch in January it is in response

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to attacks from the Afrin area and

they believe they are in compliance

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with Popper at UN standards.

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When we make representations to our

Turkish Nato allies can we make

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representations on the half of the

tens of finalists of journalists and

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others locked up by the Turkish

government?

I can assure my right

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honourable friend we do, and we do

so in all the meetings we have at

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all levels with our Turkish

counterparts.

Does the government

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agreed the Democratic union party

and the people's protection units

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should be included within the Geneva

process to end Syria's war and

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discuss the country future?

That is

praise merrily a question on Syria

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but I would point out that of course

the PKK is a prescribed organisation

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in the UK whereas the organisations

she principally refers to are of

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course not and so can spoken to.

Will the Minister make

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representations to the Turkish

Foreign Minister to asked the

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Turkish navy to cease obstructing

vessels seeking to extract

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hydrocarbons in the Eastern

Mediterranean?

I understand the

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issue to which my right honourable

friend referrers which is the issue

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of drilling for oil and gas on the

edge of Cyprus. We are assessing

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what has been reported over the last

day or so about what exactly is

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happening in that area.

Mr Speaker

we on this side of the house

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unequivocally condemn Turkey for

their disgraceful assault on Afrin

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and we are especially appalled they

have enlisted in the Army the very

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jihadists demolishes the Kurdish

forces have worked so hard to drive

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out of Northern Syria. If the

Foreign Secretary is unable to join

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me in condemning Turkey today will

be Minister of State at least

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explain why he believes and I quote,

Turkey 's legitimate interest in

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securing its own border gives them

the right to brutally attack the

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innocent Kurdish community in Afrin?

I don't think it is exactly as the

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Right Honourable lady says. We need

to recognise Turkey 's legitimate

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interests but condemn any kind of

attack on civilians and we wish to

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see a de-escalation but the

legitimate rights of Turkey should

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be recognised.

The truth is that the

Turkish assault as part of a broader

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pattern where too many foreign

parties engaged in the Syrian civil

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war are now acting just like the

Assad regime itself with out regard

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for international law. David Cameron

guaranteed this house that it was

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exclusively, exclusively to combat

the threat from Daesh. Can I ask

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when will he seek a mandate from

this house?

I find the right

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honourable ladies and analysis

extremely bizarre particularly as

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the YPG have been looking to align

with the Assad regime.

What is the

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assessment of the Assad regime and

the Kurds joining forces motility to

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resist the Turkish incursion?

That

is the issue to which I just

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referred, we are assessing it and I

am sure there will be for the report

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but it's too early to say what may

be happening.

Question two.

With

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permission Mr Speaker I will answer

a question two and nine together.

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Girls education is a moral

imperative, women and girls have the

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right to be educated equal and

empowered and safe. This is one of

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the Foreign Secretary's top

priorities and he has instructed his

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officials to put girls education at

the heart of their work.

Given the

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appalling revelations about some

employees in Oxfam and the

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subsequent attempts to cover it up

to the Minister assure us that any

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organisation which is asked to

deliver education for girls

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programmes anywhere in the world by

the British government is fit for

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purpose.

I share the assessment that

this is an utterly despicable

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example and I hope he agrees with me

that my right honourable friend the

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Secretary of State for International

Development has shown real

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leadership on this in terms of

writing to all the organisations

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with which we contract to ensure

safeguarding levels are raised and I

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believe she has been allowed by you

Mr Speaker to make a statement on

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the subject later on this afternoon.

During his recent trip what

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discussions did my right honourable

friend have with Burma, Thailand and

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Bangladesh on the government policy

of education of women and girls?

My

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right honourable friend champions

this issue at every opportunity

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including at the opportunity that my

honourable friend mentions. He will

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be aware that not only has he shown

tremendous leadership on this issue

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but he is appointed a special envoy

for gender equality and has really

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put this work at the heart of the

diplomatic network.

Provides

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education and the Northeast Frontier

province of Pakistan, incredibly

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dangerous environment for women and

girls. The UK friends try to bring

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people to the UK to provide human

rights support however at the Home

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Office often blocks them, what

discussion has she had with the Home

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Office?

She is right, highlighting

Mr Speaker the important work a

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range of organisations do, often in

partnership with us. Certainly if

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she has specific examples were she

would like me to make

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representations to my right

honourable friend the Home Secretary

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then I'd be to receive

correspondence.

Further to that

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previous question what discussions

as the minister had with the

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government of Pakistan on the

education of girls in that country

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and could she tell the house what

proportion of UK aid to Pakistan

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goes towards the education of women

and young girls?

It's certainly very

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significant Mr Speaker, I had the

pleasure last month to meet with two

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very impressive education ministers

from different parts of Pakistan, as

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he will be aware it's quite devolved

across parts of Pakistan, to do with

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the specific statistics he wishes me

to provide I will follow up in a

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letter to him.

Could I welcome the

work my honourable friend is doing

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in this field but would she agree

with me that in places like Africa

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there is a huge amount more work to

be done.

Well my honourable friend

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is absolutely right Mr Speaker,

there is a huge amount to be done,

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something like 136 million girls

around the world are not in

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education and of course it is as my

right honourable friend the Foreign

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Secretary has said, it is truly the

Swiss Army knife of development

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because not only, it works in so

many different ways. It helps to

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resolve issues of conflict but also

it's important to advance global

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prosperity.

CNN recently reported

the story of a 12-year-old from

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Yemen who wants to become a doctor

but her father is being forced to

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make the choice to marry her off to

make ends meet, he will receive

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£2000 for marrying of his daughter,

what will she do to to prevent

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conflict in Yemen so that young

women near campus of potential here?

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The honourable lady is right to

highlight a particular example which

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illustrates the challenges faced by

girls around the world. I think the

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UK Government has demonstrated a

significant leadership position not

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only in terms of this issue as a way

of progress in peace and on and

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around the world but also in terms

of urging all parties to the

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conflict to make a political

solution.

Question number three.

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Secretary Boris Johnson.

Mr Speaker

the conclusion of the highly

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successful Anglo-French summit, it

was a agreed that a committee of

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wise people should be established to

look at reviving the great tradition

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of UK- France collaboration in such

matters as security, defence, space,

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genomics, infrastructure and indeed

infrastructure projects such as the

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idea of a new connection between our

countries. An idea that I can tell

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was welcomed by my counterpart and

by -- run himself.

I noticed the

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Foreign Secretary did not say if you

would be on this committee of" wise

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people". He will be aware of the

warning that the travel ports face

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gridlock if a transitional

arrangement for Brexit not urgently

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put in place so can I ask the

Foreign Secretary what is the point

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of a 20 mile bridge if there will be

a 20 mile queue to get onto it?

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I congratulate the honourable member

for crow barring Brexit into that

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question. I think most people would

appreciate that the Eurotunnel, the

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existing channel Tunnel, is likely

at the present rate to be full

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within the next seven years. That's

a very short time in the lifetime of

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a major construction project, and

it's a curiosity that two of the

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most powerful economies in the

world, separated by barely 21 miles

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of water, are connected by just one

railway line. I think it's a matter

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for legitimate consideration by our

two countries going forward.

In

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terms of links across the Channel

with France and many other European

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partners, yesterday the Brexit

select committee saw Michel Barnier,

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Guy Verhofstadt and many others, and

it's absolutely clear that the deep

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partnership are looking for with the

European Union will be a unique and

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specific agreement that will benefit

both sides of the channel

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enormously. Does the Foreign

Secretary agree with me that this

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should be the outcome of the talks

that we will start again shortly?

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Order, order, on the subject of crow

barring and shoehorning, can I

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remind the honourable gentleman that

the question is about a fixed link,

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it's not about Brexit, it's about a

fixed link across the Channel.

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That's the purpose of the matter

upon which the Right Honourable

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gentleman will focus. If I may say

so, I think my right honourable

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friend has

sit on a metaphorical

fixed link, a great, swollen,

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throbbing, umbilicus of trade

between us. Each side mutually

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nourishing the other, and I approve

the note of optimism he strikes.

Jay

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Simpson.

I am generally in favour of

building bridges instead of walls,

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but can I urge the Foreign

Secretary, instead of indulging in

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fantasy engineering probe gets, to

focus on the important work he

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mentioned on building metaphorical

bridges with nations who share our

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values, like France, and in

particular our other European

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neighbours to prevent Brexit Britain

becoming isolated and increasingly

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reliant for trade and influence on

regimes who have dubious human

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rights records.

I think the

honourable lady raises an important

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point, but she will recognise we are

beefing up our diplomatic

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representation in the EU and seizing

our opportunity to build new links

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and revival partnerships around the

world. I don't think anyone could be

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more eloquent about our

unconditional commitments to our

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friends and partners in the EU than

the Prime Minister in Munich last

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week.

In 1971, the French and their

English counterparts started talking

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about the Channel Tunnel and they

were mocked. Can we have more

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visionary and less mockery about

ideas of how we can take forward

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future relationships?

I would remind

honourable members opposite during

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from a sedentary position great

infrastructure projects, it's

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invariably Conservative

administrations that come forward

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with it. The Conservatives revive

the East End of London with Canary

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Wharf and it was Margaret Thatcher

who reignited the first channel

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Tunnel.

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It's estimated that we can build the

Foreign Secretary's Channel bridge

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at a cost of £120 billion. He wants

to build bridges and at the same

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time is pushing for a hard Brexit to

push us away from the European

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Union. Instead, does he think that

money could be well spent for the

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next six and a half years, we could

use the same money to give the

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national health service £350 million

per week? Can I ask the Foreign

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Secretary what he would prefer.

The

honourable gentleman opposite is

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possibly too young to remember, but

when the first Channel Tunnel was

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commissioned, it was the vision of

the then Prime Minister Margaret

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Thatcher that it should be entirely

privately financed. There is no

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reason why we should not have the

same ambition this time. On his

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point about the Brexit dividend, as

the Prime Minister herself has said,

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there will unquestionably be

substantial sums of money available

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for spending in this country on the

priorities of the British people,

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including the NHS. If the party

opposite is opposed to that, let

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them stand up and say so now.

I

would if the Foreign Secretary can

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tell us of any economic analysis he

has had done on the infrastructure

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that he is talking about. And where

does it sit in terms of the

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government's mad Max dystopian

barometer?

I hope the honourable

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member will forgive me if I'd

deferred the economic analysis to

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the committee of wise people. But I

do think it is... The first Channel

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Tunnel will be full within the next

few years, by the middle of the next

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decade. I think it's incumbent on us

to be responsible enough to reflect

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on the future developer of our

economies and I look forward to the

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findings of that committee.

I would

like to thank the Foreign Secretary

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for his response. In terms of the

economic analysis he mentioned, does

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he agree with me on the importance

of evidence from impartial civil

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servants? Does he agree with me that

evidence in terms of the

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relationship with France and the

rest of Europe is important. And in

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terms of a relationship with France

and the rest of Europe, would he

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agree with the former first

secretary of state that the problem

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of politicians who don't accept

evidence?

On the point about civil

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servants, I wish to assure the

honourable gentleman I have nothing

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but admiration for the hard work and

dedication of Whitehall civil

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servants who are preparing the

Brexit negotiations, and believe me,

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they are doing a superb job.

Question number four, Mr Speaker.

Mr

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Speaker, with permission I will

answer questions, four and 13

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together. The United Kingdom will

host an ambitious high-level illegal

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trade conference in London in

October of this year. And I believe

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it's the ambition of cracking down

on illegal wildlife trade that is

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shared by the entire British people.

At the conference in October of the

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IWT, will my right honourable friend

ensure that Great Britain remains at

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the forefront of the efforts to

stamp out the trade in ivory?

We

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were coming to the conclusion of a

consultation period about a total

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ban on ivory. I think many people in

this house and in this country would

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agree a total ban is to be wished.

We will see where we get to, but I

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think my honourable friend can count

on us once again to be in the lead

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and we will have, I believe, some

very substantive conclusions on

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saving elephants from that summit in

October.

What discussion listed my

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right honourable friend have on his

recent trip to Southeast Asia with

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palm oil producing countries on the

illegal wildlife trade and

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deforestation?

I am acutely aware of

the problems caused by palm oil

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cultivation, and we are in urgent

dialogue with our partners to

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discourage them from deforestation

and the consequent loss of species.

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We have come a long way in terms of

the ivory trade discussions. What

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other discussions is the team having

with Vietnam and some of the other

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countries in that region?

I had

discussions only the other day with

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Thailand, forum instance, and we

absolutely appreciate the importance

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of not simply divert in the flow of

ivory from China to other countries

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in south-east Asia.

Will the

Secretary of State assure the house

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and the people of the United Kingdom

that an international approach is

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being taken to ensure nations across

the developed globe take a similar

0:20:010:20:05

position so we can ostracise and

alienate those engaged in this sort

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of trade?

The honourable gentleman

is absolutely right. That's why we

0:20:090:20:13

are hosting a global summit and

participation rates are already very

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high indeed.

Question five.

With

permission, I will answer questions

0:20:170:20:24

five and 11 together. I was able to

meet with both Prime Minister

0:20:240:20:31

al-Abadi and the Kurdish Prime

Minister in Munich at the weekend,

0:20:310:20:35

when our behalf of the United

Kingdom I encouraged continuing

0:20:350:20:38

dialogue recently begun between them

individually, which is essential to

0:20:380:20:42

the long-term stability of Iraq. We

have no current plans with observers

0:20:420:20:46

from the UK to attend the elections

in May but we are working with

0:20:460:20:49

others to assure ensure effective

monitoring.

Will dish diplomats

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oversee the implementation of the

Iraqi constitution? -- will British

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diplomats. Especially in regions

where that autonomy is under threat?

0:21:050:21:13

It is no doubt both sides see the

opportunity under the constitution

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to ensure the relationships are

strong and good between them. There

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has been a great deal of

conciliation in an area that could

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be of much greater conflict and the

United Kingdom is encouraging that

0:21:240:21:27

dialogue in order to minimise the

risk on matters my honourable friend

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raises.

Will my honourable friend

except the foreign affairs select

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committee's observation that many

Kurds feel threatened in a country

0:21:380:21:44

that is not fulfilling its

commitments to them. And with Lee

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five month long blockade of flights

from Kurdistan has been and needless

0:21:480:21:54

outrage? Would he encourage Baghdad

to lift the blockade?

There is

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little doubt the issue of the

airport is foremost between in the

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discussions between the respective

prime ministers. There is a

0:22:040:22:10

recognition that if arrangements can

be made for the airport it would

0:22:100:22:12

make a difference. In relation to

that, the future of a Kurdish region

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in Iraq is essential that it's

stable and secure and rights are

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honoured on both sides and the

constitution is seen to be

0:22:210:22:24

effective.

I have just returned from

Iraq myself. I monitored the

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first-ever elections in Iraq. While

elections are important, I think the

0:22:330:22:38

Iraqis particularly would like more

assistance, technical assistance,

0:22:380:22:45

advice. They are doing a good job

there at the moment, but they do

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need more UK help in order to bring

about reconciliation and progress

0:22:490:22:55

between various factions.

Can I

thank the right honourable lady for

0:22:550:23:03

her steadfast support on Iraq over

many years. Indeed, she and

0:23:030:23:05

colleagues from the IPU went over to

Baghdad to talk about governance

0:23:050:23:14

issues and the contribution she has

made over many years has been

0:23:140:23:16

invaluable. Assisting from the UK is

part of our support and I will look

0:23:160:23:24

into what mode in relation to the

elections.

I know the Minister to be

0:23:240:23:28

a fair-minded man. When any of these

negotiations take place, will he

0:23:280:23:32

balance the loyalty as allies with

the Kurdish people over many long

0:23:320:23:39

years, and balance that with the

track record of President the

0:23:390:23:45

President Erdogan.

In relation to

the Turkish issue, right right

0:23:450:23:54

honourable friend made reference to

that earlier. There is the needs of

0:23:540:23:59

Kurdish peoples, which are

represented by a number of different

0:23:590:24:02

parties, are recognised. The United

Kingdom is always conscious of the

0:24:020:24:06

relationship we have with those

peoples and the people of Iraq.

A

0:24:060:24:12

noted expert on the region, it's a

pleasure to see him representing Her

0:24:120:24:16

Majesty'sgovernment in the Middle

East. That he perhaps bring clarity

0:24:160:24:19

that the Foreign Affairs Committee

asked for on the difference between

0:24:190:24:22

the white PG and the PKK. We

received evidence at evidence that

0:24:220:24:28

there is no real difference. -- the

YPG. It appears we are supporting

0:24:280:24:37

that we are only slightly supporting

a group that is a proscribed

0:24:370:24:40

organisation.

Can I thank my

honourable friend is not only for

0:24:400:24:45

his question but the leadership of

the Foreign Affairs Committee. We

0:24:450:24:48

will study that report very

carefully. I appreciate it was

0:24:480:24:53

asking for clarity in some

situations that are genuinely

0:24:530:24:57

difficult to provide that clarity.

There will be a full written

0:24:570:25:00

response from the Foreign Office in

due course. But we do recognise the

0:25:000:25:06

PKK as a proscribed organisation.

That is the situation at present. We

0:25:060:25:16

are deeply concerned by recent

reports of chemical weapons used in

0:25:160:25:20

Syria. UK officials are in contact

with the organisation for the

0:25:200:25:24

Prohibition of chemical weapons

which is investigating. We condemn

0:25:240:25:27

all use of chemical weapons and are

working with international partners

0:25:270:25:31

to identify and hold to account

those responsible.

0:25:310:25:34

Anyone who seeks to draw a false

equivalence between this gassing

0:25:380:25:45

risks aiding and abetting this

activity but the government's

0:25:450:25:49

concern is not enough. Words are not

enough. What is the UK actually

0:25:490:25:53

going to do to take action to stop

this what was supposed to be a red

0:25:530:25:59

line for the international community

which has been walked over time and

0:25:590:26:01

again?

The right honourable

gentleman is correct to express

0:26:010:26:07

concern and anger about not only the

use of chemical weapons but the

0:26:070:26:14

increasing use, we think there has

been four occasions since the turn

0:26:140:26:16

of this year and if chemical weapons

come back into the norm of use in

0:26:160:26:22

war it goes against the century of

united response by the world against

0:26:220:26:29

them. I took part in the recent

conference in Paris led by the

0:26:290:26:35

French Foreign Minister and the

United States Secretary of State to

0:26:350:26:39

counter activities in the UN where

the joint investigative mechanism

0:26:390:26:41

has been vetoed on three occasions

to try to create some other

0:26:410:26:45

mechanism but he is right, we will

continue to work through the UN to

0:26:450:26:51

ensure the International Convention

on chemical weapons once again

0:26:510:26:54

becomes properly effective.

I thank

the Minister for his responses, 2018

0:26:540:27:02

has proven to be an absolutely

brutal year so far for a Syrian

0:27:020:27:06

civilians. What can we do, we can

put in place monitoring and will the

0:27:060:27:11

Minister say more about UK

Government resources for monitoring

0:27:110:27:14

and collecting evidence of these

terrible crimes?

Mr Speaker since

0:27:140:27:19

the beginning of the conflict in

Syria the UK has been working to

0:27:190:27:25

equip civilians on the ground with

the tools they need to collect

0:27:250:27:29

evidence which could be used in

future to ensure there was

0:27:290:27:34

accountability and justice. We have

been doing that for some years and

0:27:340:27:36

will continue to do so but what she

calls attention to is the increased

0:27:360:27:40

use of chemical weapons in the past

few weeks and that is an outrage.

0:27:400:27:46

The world community is entitled to

be outraged by it but must indeed

0:27:460:27:50

ensure that through the UN it does

something effective to bring the

0:27:500:27:53

perpetrators to justice.

0:27:530:27:55

Mr Speaker with permission may I

answer this question and question 17

0:28:000:28:05

together? The United Kingdom

supports the concept of an

0:28:050:28:09

international fund for

Israeli-Palestinian peace. The £3

0:28:090:28:13

million people to people programme

has similar aims and brings together

0:28:130:28:16

individuals from both sides to

support, to build support for a

0:28:160:28:20

durable solution. We also remain

concerned about the provision of

0:28:200:28:23

health care in Gaza and are working

to large all parties to take

0:28:230:28:27

necessary to improve conditions.

I

thank the Minister for his response,

0:28:270:28:33

with the UK's increased response,

something many in the house have

0:28:330:28:39

long supported, we have an

opportunity to lead the way on a

0:28:390:28:43

global stage, will the Minister

therefore pledge the UK's diplomatic

0:28:430:28:46

support to help create that

international fund which will ensure

0:28:460:28:49

our funding is matched by others as

part of a sustainable international

0:28:490:28:55

initiative to build peace in the

Middle East which we all long for?

0:28:550:28:59

Many of us over the years have

worried that one of the worst aspect

0:28:590:29:02

of the conflict is the separation of

people. We are following the concept

0:29:020:29:08

of the development of this fun and

very carefully and I will continue

0:29:080:29:12

to take a strong personal interest.

The sentiment behind it is why we

0:29:120:29:17

have the £3 million programme but we

will be watching the development of

0:29:170:29:20

that international fund and giving

it support where we can.

A couple of

0:29:200:29:25

weeks ago I was humbled to meet a

group of young Palestinians and

0:29:250:29:28

listen to personal stories about

restrictions on health care and now

0:29:280:29:32

there is a report from the World

Health Organisation is saying 54

0:29:320:29:35

patients died in 2017 waiting on

exit permits to get treatment

0:29:350:29:40

outside Gaza. Will the Minister

press is real to remove these

0:29:400:29:45

restrictions to prevent more

Palestinians dying waiting for

0:29:450:29:47

medical treatment?

The circumstances

of Gaza remain dire in many ways but

0:29:470:29:53

the free movement of patients and

medical personnel is vital to the

0:29:530:29:58

effectiveness of care. We regularly

raise concerns about ambulance and

0:29:580:30:02

permit delays with Israeli

authorities and we will continue to

0:30:020:30:06

do so.

Since September 2015 some 58

Israelis, four foreign nationals,

0:30:060:30:13

have been murdered by Palestinian

terrorists in more than 400 separate

0:30:130:30:17

stabbing, shooting and car running

incidents. The terrorists have been

0:30:170:30:22

rewarded with honorary titles,

monthly salaries and other

0:30:220:30:25

opportunities. Can my right

honourable friend make clear to the

0:30:250:30:29

Palestinian Authority that until

such time as glorification of

0:30:290:30:32

terrorism ends there can be no peace

in the Middle East.

As my honourable

0:30:320:30:41

friend is a way we continued to

condemn these activities in the

0:30:410:30:47

region at all times and some of the

attacks he mentions are absolutely

0:30:470:30:51

not conducive to peace and should

not be celebrated. But the context

0:30:510:30:56

of the situation means we must

continue to work for an end to the

0:30:560:31:01

conflict between Israel and the

Palestinians because it's only when

0:31:010:31:04

that happens that the seeds of

conflict will be taken away. After

0:31:040:31:16

the US half its funding president

Trump explained the decision as

0:31:160:31:23

follows.

The Palestinians

disrespected us by not allowing our

0:31:230:31:26

great vice president to see them.

That money is not going to them

0:31:260:31:30

unless they sit down and negotiate

peace. Can I ask the Minister to

0:31:300:31:34

state under half of this house that

extorting the Palestinian Authority

0:31:340:31:38

to bend the knee to Mike Pence by

removing essential health care and

0:31:380:31:45

education from impoverished

Palestinian families is nothing

0:31:450:31:47

short of a disgrace.

Well the

actions of the United States

0:31:470:31:54

government in this case have nothing

to do with us, our review... Our

0:31:540:31:59

view remains clear and I met with

the director this morning at DFID.

0:31:590:32:04

We will continue to and fund it and

leave refugees in Lebanon and Syria,

0:32:040:32:11

sorry, Lebanon and Jordan without

support would be a disaster and it

0:32:110:32:17

needs to continue to get the support

and it will do from the United

0:32:170:32:19

Kingdom.

0:32:190:32:21

Number eight that Speaker.

No cost

to the public purse!

Come off it!

0:32:250:32:32

You must think we will or born

yesterday, sorry, the honourable

0:32:320:32:36

member must think we will all born

yesterday. This was private party on

0:32:360:32:42

government premises sanctioned by

the Foreign Secretary. He has been

0:32:420:32:46

trying to dress up a ten point bunch

of ideological crackpots against the

0:32:460:32:50

law and he's broken the ministerial

code, he has been caught!

Mr Speaker

0:32:500:32:59

I am under the unhappy duty of

contradiction the gentleman

0:32:590:33:04

opposite, he is talking the most

perfect tripe. Events took place, it

0:33:040:33:12

was completely nonpartisan. Members

of all parties were present.

0:33:120:33:17

Including the Labour Party. There

were EU and non-EU ambassadors

0:33:170:33:22

represented. It was fully in line

with FCO rules on hosting such

0:33:220:33:28

events and I have a letter from the

Cabinet Secretary to confirm that

0:33:280:33:33

here. I will be happy to pass that

to the honourable gentleman. And it

0:33:330:33:42

was, I'm afraid to say, the Cabinet

Secretary has been pestered with

0:33:420:33:46

complaints from the Labour Party

about this blameless event which

0:33:460:33:50

finally Mr Speaker was there to

support free trade and the

0:33:500:33:55

encouragement of free trade which is

a major objective of government

0:33:550:33:59

policy and should be an objective of

the gentleman opposite, or isn't it?

0:33:590:34:06

Can I ask my right honourable friend

if that excellent agreement, the

0:34:060:34:11

continental free trade area

agreement of the African union was

0:34:110:34:15

discussed because that will bring

great prosperity and if it was not

0:34:150:34:19

discussed could it be discussed at

the next meeting which I'm happy to

0:34:190:34:22

pay for...

They think it was a booze

up?

Mr Speaker I hesitate for an age

0:34:220:34:33

before speaking you Mr Speaker but

it was a serious discussion of the

0:34:330:34:38

advancement of free-trade and the

subject my honourable friend raises

0:34:380:34:44

of free-trade in the African union

is a very good one, the only advice

0:34:440:34:50

I would give to the African union is

not to acquire a parliament or a

0:34:500:34:55

court or a single currency.

I

deferred to the Foreign Secretary 's

0:34:550:35:00

knowledge of this important event. I

don't know how long he was there. I

0:35:000:35:06

cannot say I greatly care. Mary

Robertson?

At the last forest of his

0:35:060:35:13

questions in January I explained the

UK is leading by example on ocean

0:35:130:35:18

conservation. The government is on

track to meet its manifesto bluebell

0:35:180:35:21

pledge which will deliver protection

across almost 4 million square

0:35:210:35:25

kilometres of the water around our

overseas territories. This will

0:35:250:35:29

happen by 2020 and we are working

through the Commonwealth Marine

0:35:290:35:32

economies programme to enable small

island Commonwealth seats to

0:35:320:35:35

conserve and use maritime space

sustainably.

I welcome the ban on

0:35:350:35:43

beads and other measures taken by

the UK Government to detect the

0:35:430:35:47

marine environment but this needs a

global approach. What diplomatic

0:35:470:35:52

steps is my right honourable friend

taking to engage with the United

0:35:520:35:55

Nations and other countries to push

the bluebell charter?

I thank my

0:35:550:36:03

honourable friend for recognising

the stands on micro beads and my

0:36:030:36:06

main point we are closely involved

in developing a UN treaty on Marine

0:36:060:36:11

biological diversity and areas

beyond national jurisdictions and as

0:36:110:36:14

chair of the Commonwealth for the

next two years we will work with

0:36:140:36:17

member states to create a

Commonwealth blue charter. In the

0:36:170:36:21

G-7 we are working closely with

Canada during the presidency to

0:36:210:36:24

deliver our shared an addition to

tackle the threat facing our ocean.

0:36:240:36:35

I welcome the significant

contribution made by the British

0:36:370:36:40

Council and regularly witness this.

My officials and I are in regular

0:36:400:36:48

contact and dialogue with British

Council across the globe to discuss

0:36:480:36:50

the scope of their important work,

we will continue to work with them

0:36:500:36:56

to establish compliance and place

the British Council only secure

0:36:560:36:59

feuding.

I thank the Minister for

his response and given the

0:36:590:37:05

importance of the British Council

when it comes to our soft power what

0:37:050:37:08

are the implications of possible

cuts in funding to the council 's

0:37:080:37:16

work and how might these affect the

government plans for a global

0:37:160:37:19

Britain?

May I thank my honourable

friend for his question, the council

0:37:190:37:25

has agreed to reduce the official,

sorry, reduce the non-official

0:37:250:37:30

development assistance grants from

the Foreign Office to zero by the

0:37:300:37:33

end of the spending review period in

exchange for additional funding as

0:37:330:37:37

part of the vision for a global

Britain we want a properly funded

0:37:370:37:40

and affected council which projects

British values across the world. I

0:37:400:37:45

believe the council will continue to

deliver throughout the income

0:37:450:37:50

generated from other sources such as

its commercial income.

Question 14

0:37:500:37:59

Mr Speaker?

With permission I will

answer 14 and 22 together. We are

0:37:590:38:04

speaking a special partnership with

you, we have a strong foundation for

0:38:040:38:09

vital continued cooperation on

global challenges. We are working to

0:38:090:38:14

strengthen, reinvigorate and reshape

our bilateral relationships with our

0:38:140:38:17

European partners focusing on shared

values and interests.

Mr Speaker the

0:38:170:38:24

Foreign Secretary's 5000 word speech

and Brexit last week was described

0:38:240:38:28

by one of his own ministerial

colleagues as follows, he is

0:38:280:38:33

completely in denial about the

complexity of the exit and the

0:38:330:38:37

negative economic consequences. Can

the Foreign Secretary clear this up,

0:38:370:38:41

is he in denial or is he just wrong?

LAUGHTER

0:38:410:38:47

If I may respectfully resist the

alternative is the honourable

0:38:470:38:53

gentleman has laid before me, what I

was trying to do last week was make

0:38:530:39:00

the point that we now have a massive

opportunity to come together, people

0:39:000:39:05

who voted to remain, people who

voted leave, to get a positive

0:39:050:39:11

arrangement, positive Brexit done

that I think will be a massive

0:39:110:39:14

benefit to people in this country

and in the hall of the European

0:39:140:39:17

continent. If we are ambitious and

positive I have no doubt we can pull

0:39:170:39:22

it off.

Mr Speaker the Foreign

Secretary claimed last week it would

0:39:220:39:28

be intolerable for the UK not to set

its own regulations after Brexit.

0:39:280:39:34

The next day the Harvard business

school server UK imports and the

0:39:340:39:39

said last thing we want is jewel

regulatory burden with the UK and EU

0:39:390:39:43

rules to comply with, can he tell us

who is right?

I think the Harvard

0:39:430:39:49

business school survey is right,

nobody wants to have two sets of

0:39:490:39:54

regulations imposed on the UK

economy which is why the Prime

0:39:540:39:57

Minister was completely right wasn't

she at Lancaster House and indeed at

0:39:570:40:01

Florence and in sundry other places

when she said Brexit means taking

0:40:010:40:05

back control of our money, our

borders and above all of our laws

0:40:050:40:10

which is what were going to do.

Will

my right honourable friend take this

0:40:100:40:16

opportunity of praising the work

done by Her Majesty 's diplomatic

0:40:160:40:21

service and is he contends that the

embassies we have in 27 remaining EU

0:40:210:40:27

countries are sufficiently resourced

to represent the Night King them

0:40:270:40:32

well after Brexit?

I am pleased my

honourable friend asked that

0:40:320:40:40

question because we are not only

upgrading seven ambassadorial posts

0:40:400:40:45

in the 27 other EU countries we are

also increasing staffing across the

0:40:450:40:51

network in the EU by 50 and I can

tell the house and again I am

0:40:510:40:56

getting some negativity from a

sedentary position opposite, in

0:40:560:41:02

addition to beefing up our relations

with our EU friends and partners we

0:41:020:41:07

are delivering 15 embassies in

Africa. At

0:41:070:41:12

last week was 5000 words long but

they did not once include the words

0:41:150:41:23

Northern or the words Ireland.

This

is perhaps the biggest problem the

0:41:230:41:27

government needs to answer and yet

the Foreign Secretary did not even

0:41:270:41:31

seek to mention it so could he

belatedly take this opportunity to

0:41:310:41:35

explain in simple terms how is it

possible for the UK to diverge from

0:41:350:41:39

the EU in terms of regulations

tariffs and other aspects whilst

0:41:390:41:43

retaining the current arrangements

on the Irish land border? Could he

0:41:430:41:48

enlighten us, what is the plan?

0:41:480:41:49

Is the right honourable lady knows

very well, there is no reason

0:41:540:41:58

whatsoever why we should not be able

to exit both the customs union and

0:41:580:42:04

the single market whilst maintaining

frictionless trade, not only north

0:42:040:42:09

and south in Northern Ireland, but

with the rest of continental Europe

0:42:090:42:13

as well. And that is exactly what

this government will be spelling out

0:42:130:42:21

in the course of the coming

negotiations.

Question 15, Mr

0:42:210:42:26

Speaker.

The UK champions

peacekeeping, financially and

0:42:260:42:41

militarily. There are now more than

700 UK personnel deployed eight UN

0:42:410:42:47

peacekeeping missions in seven

countries.

In light of ongoing

0:42:470:42:53

reports of sexual abuse by UN

peacekeepers, does the Minister

0:42:530:42:56

agree that increasing the number of

women peacekeepers is a vital part

0:42:560:43:00

of addressing this crisis in the

long term? Can she also tell us the

0:43:000:43:05

proportion of peacekeepers from the

UK who are women, and what plans she

0:43:050:43:10

has to increase their representation

on UN deployments.

I appreciate the

0:43:100:43:15

honourable lady's leadership on this

issue and the work she does in all

0:43:150:43:19

aspects. I think she will admire the

leadership role the UK has played in

0:43:190:43:26

terms of not only putting this on

the United Nations agenda last year,

0:43:260:43:29

but also with the Prime Minister of

our country being appointed to the

0:43:290:43:36

Secretary-General's circle of

leadership. I can assure her we will

0:43:360:43:40

continue to champion this agenda at

every possible opportunity. It has

0:43:400:43:47

to be something we will continue to

do. And on the topic she raised

0:43:470:43:50

about women from our own Armed

Forces, she will know the impressive

0:43:500:43:55

agenda the Armed Forces flexible

working bill, and also the

0:43:550:43:59

proportion we are aiming to increase

from 11% to 15%.

Topical questions,

0:43:590:44:05

Henry Smith.

Question number three,

Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, my immediate

0:44:050:44:11

priority is to take forward

Britain's response to the

0:44:110:44:15

humanitarian crisis in Burma and

Bangladesh. I was deeply moved by

0:44:150:44:20

the plight of Rohingya refugees who

I met in Coxes bazaar earlier this

0:44:200:44:23

month. I went to Burma with the

express purpose of raising this

0:44:230:44:29

tragedy with State councillor Aung

San Suu Kyi. The goal is to help

0:44:290:44:35

create the conditions for the safe,

voluntary and dignified return of

0:44:350:44:38

refugees to their homes. The house

will also join me in welcoming the

0:44:380:44:42

Gambia back to the Commonwealth,

providing an excellent preludes to

0:44:420:44:46

the Commonwealth summit in April.

Can my right honourable friend say

0:44:460:44:51

what discussions he has had with the

government in Wellington with

0:44:510:44:55

regards to UK and New Zealand trade

and cooperation on Brexit?

I have

0:44:550:45:00

just returned from a sun-kissed New

Zealand, where I had fruitful

0:45:000:45:06

discussions... LAUGHTER

Indoors in the name, I have to say.

0:45:060:45:12

With a range of political figures,

including my counterparts in the

0:45:120:45:19

Foreign Ministry and trade select

committee. We have the broadest and

0:45:190:45:28

deepest friendship with New Zealand.

The UK is joint guarantor with

0:45:280:45:39

rights and freedoms in Hong Kong,

yet we have seen book-sellers

0:45:390:45:48

abducted, elected legislators

barred, and student straight is

0:45:480:45:50

imprisoned. In December, ten people

were tried in a sports stadium

0:45:500:45:57

before they were being executed. Why

didn't the Prime Minister raise

0:45:570:46:02

human rights in public in Beijing?

Was it because she doesn't care? Or

0:46:020:46:08

is it because she is so desperate to

get a trade deal?

Let me reassure

0:46:080:46:14

the Shadow minister that the Prime

Minister did raise these issues. But

0:46:140:46:17

we do it through not through

megaphone diplomacy but in private

0:46:170:46:21

meetings. We relentlessly raise

human rights issues, not least in

0:46:210:46:25

Hong Kong. It is vital that those in

Hong Kong have their rights and

0:46:250:46:30

freedoms respected on the latest

six-month report states the 's one

0:46:300:46:37

state, two systems must continue to

work well. What steps has the

0:46:370:46:46

department taken to highlight

concerns about North Koreans sent to

0:46:460:46:49

other countries to work effectively

as a slave labourers, and with what

0:46:490:46:54

result?

We fully supported the UN

resolutions that have imposed

0:46:540:46:59

increasing sanctions upon these

DPRK's overseas labour. Many such

0:46:590:47:05

workers operate in slavery like

conditions while the DPRK regime

0:47:050:47:08

takes a large slice of their wages.

This includes the latest resolution

0:47:080:47:15

which was adopted on the 22nd

December last year.

The Foreign

0:47:150:47:21

Secretary mentioned earlier his

visit to Bangladesh and to Burma.

0:47:210:47:26

And his meetings with the Rohingya.

We hold the pen at the UN on this

0:47:260:47:31

issue. Will the British government

bring forward a resolution referring

0:47:310:47:38

Myanmar to the International

criminal Court, given what happened?

0:47:380:47:42

I appreciate the interest in this

subject. The difficulties he knows

0:47:420:47:46

is in the UN Security Council there

will be those who would not support

0:47:460:47:52

such a resolution at present. What

we want to do, and I think the

0:47:520:47:56

crucial thing is that everyone in

the region and around the world

0:47:560:48:00

makes it absolutely clear to the

government that the only way forward

0:48:000:48:06

now for Burma is to create

conditions for a safe and dignified

0:48:060:48:13

voluntary return. That must mean

paying independent UN lead agency to

0:48:130:48:19

oversee their repatriation.

Otherwise those people are going to

0:48:190:48:22

be too frightened to return. That's

the priority on which we should

0:48:220:48:25

focus.

The people of the Democratic

Republic of Congo have suffered far

0:48:250:48:31

too long. 6 million people have died

in the last 20 years, probably more.

0:48:310:48:37

4 million were internally displaced

last year, more than any other

0:48:370:48:40

country in the world. Good might

honourable friend speaking for the

0:48:400:48:44

government say what the British

government is doing to ensure we do

0:48:440:48:48

all we can to see this suffering is

brought to an end?

My honourable

0:48:480:48:55

friend is absolutely right to raise

this absolutely disastrous

0:48:550:48:57

situation. He is also right to

highlight the importance of the UK's

0:48:570:49:04

role. He will be aware that it's an

extremely dangerous place for the

0:49:040:49:09

United Nations peacekeepers, some of

whom were killed last year. The UK

0:49:090:49:14

Government is calling on the

president to respect the

0:49:140:49:19

constitution, to fulfil the

commitments that were made in the

0:49:190:49:24

accord and to continue with the

implantation past two elections this

0:49:240:49:29

year.

Since the Saudi led coalition

began air strikes, over 10,000

0:49:290:49:34

civilians have been killed in the

Yemen. Norway and Germany recently

0:49:340:49:40

suspended arms sales to Saudi

Arabia. What will it take for the UK

0:49:400:49:43

Government to do the same?

We have

one of the strictest arms-control

0:49:430:49:50

regimes in the world. Governed both

by this house and by the law. We

0:49:500:49:55

will continue to abide by that. In

the meantime, we do everything we

0:49:550:49:59

can to encourage a diplomatic

solution to end the conflict in

0:49:590:50:02

Yemen, which is the only thing that

will bring the suffering of the

0:50:020:50:07

people of Yemen to an end.

In the

light of the recent vote 100

0:50:070:50:14

submissions in this house and the

launch of the equality party in

0:50:140:50:19

Redditch, it can it be assured that

international partners are also

0:50:190:50:27

supporting women and girls?

We are

totally aligned with what is taking

0:50:270:50:30

place in Redditch in the sense that,

as my honourable friend was saying

0:50:300:50:36

earlier to the house, the ambition

of 12 years of quality education for

0:50:360:50:41

every girl in the world, which I

believe is the universal spanner

0:50:410:50:45

that will help unlock so many other

global problems is at the heart of

0:50:450:50:49

our Commonwealth summit, the

universal spanner.

It's like the

0:50:490:50:57

sonic screwdriver.

The universal

spanner, it's a device that will

0:50:570:51:02

solve almost any problem. I truly

believe that female education is at

0:51:020:51:09

the heart of solving so many other

problems. That's why we're putting

0:51:090:51:15

out at the very centre of the Conroe

summit in April, at the G-7 coming

0:51:150:51:22

up, and across our network, female

education is at the heart of

0:51:220:51:25

everything we do.

Some chortling in

the chamber. We will have an update

0:51:250:51:30

on the spanner situation for which

we are indebted to the Foreign

0:51:300:51:34

Secretary. Jim Shannon.

That the

Minister confirm what steps is

0:51:340:51:36

Department are taking to provide

training for freedom of religion for

0:51:360:51:41

officials of his department?

I thank

the honourable gentleman for his

0:51:410:51:45

question. He has this very much in

his heart, as I am well aware. We

0:51:450:51:52

liaise regularly on this issue with

high commissions and embassies. I am

0:51:520:52:04

very encouraged that the network

takes this issue as seriously as I

0:52:040:52:07

know the honourable gentleman does.

If Britain is to assume a more

0:52:070:52:12

ambitious global trading role as we

leave the EU, we will surely need to

0:52:120:52:16

expand the depth and reach of the

high commissions and in disease in

0:52:160:52:19

regions like North America. What

assurances can my right honourable

0:52:190:52:21

friend for the house that critical

diplomatic missions are being

0:52:210:52:24

expanded and not cutback in

countries like Canada?

I am

0:52:240:52:32

delighted to tell my honourable

friend that is to the best of my

0:52:320:52:35

knowledge, we have just in the last

18 months opened three new trade

0:52:350:52:41

missions in North America. I can't

comment about Canada specifically

0:52:410:52:45

but in the United States we are

certainly beefing up our presence in

0:52:450:52:48

advance of doing a great free-trade

deal.

The UN High Commissioner for

0:52:480:52:54

human rights described what is

happening to the Rohingya people as

0:52:540:52:57

a military campaign in which you

cannot rule out the possibility that

0:52:570:53:00

acts of genocide have been

committed. Having met the victims in

0:53:000:53:05

Bangladesh and Myanmar, the Foreign

Secretary has now said earlier to my

0:53:050:53:08

honourable friend that a Security

Council referral is too difficult.

0:53:080:53:12

Can he show some leadership and work

with our EU partners next week at

0:53:120:53:18

the foreign affairs Council to try

to build support for a referral,

0:53:180:53:22

because the act of a referral will

make a difference.

As the honourable

0:53:220:53:26

lady I'm sure knows, Myanmar is not

signed up to the ICC. But there must

0:53:260:53:35

be no doubt about the gravity of

what has taken place. Anybody who

0:53:350:53:39

flies over northern Rakhine as I did

last week will see hundreds of

0:53:390:53:50

villages that have been burned and

destroyed. 600,000 people displaced.

0:53:500:53:55

This is ethnic cleansing on an

industrial scale and it may also be

0:53:550:54:00

genocide. It's vitally important

that the evidence is acquired to

0:54:000:54:05

determine whether any prosecution

can be mounted in the future.

The

0:54:050:54:11

increasing extension of the state of

emergency, the arrest of the former

0:54:110:54:16

president and two Supreme Court

Justice has seen a tightening of the

0:54:160:54:19

grip by the current president and

further distinguishing of the

0:54:190:54:24

democratic institutions there. Given

the fact that at any one time there

0:54:240:54:27

are literally thousands of British

holiday-makers on those islands, and

0:54:270:54:31

they were until recently a welcome

member of the Commonwealth family,

0:54:310:54:36

will the Secretary of State agreed

to head up a mission there, or

0:54:360:54:39

encourage the UN to do so, because

it also has the potential to bring

0:54:390:54:44

China and India into an unwelcome

regional conflict.

Like my writable

0:54:440:54:50

thread, I am deeply troubled about

the state of emergency in the

0:54:500:54:55

Maldives on February five and the

accompanying suspension of

0:54:550:54:58

fundamental rights. I met with the

former president in London in

0:54:580:55:01

November one appears on time in

office was turbulent but I discussed

0:55:010:55:05

the deteriorating situation with him

and we will take on board the

0:55:050:55:07

suggestions made by my right

honourable friend.

Is the secretary

0:55:070:55:11

of state concerned by weekend

reports of human rights observers

0:55:110:55:15

that citizens have been subject to

chemical rights attacks by Turkish

0:55:150:55:21

forces. Is this the conduct we

should expect from a so-called Nato

0:55:210:55:24

ally?

0:55:240:55:25

As I mentioned earlier, any

suggestion of the use of chemical

0:55:310:55:33

weapons has got to be independently

verified. The degree to which they

0:55:330:55:37

have been more used in the Syrian

conflict by a number of different

0:55:370:55:40

sources is a matter of great

concern, not least what the regime

0:55:400:55:43

has been doing. But any suggestion

must be properly identified and

0:55:430:55:47

verified.

The Good Friday Agreement has

0:55:470:55:51

brought about peace for almost 20

years in Northern Ireland. Could the

0:55:510:55:55

Foreign Secretary give an

unequivocal assurance that Her

0:55:550:56:01

Majesty's government will not do

anything that undermines the

0:56:010:56:05

agreement, including pursuing any

policy that not only undermines the

0:56:050:56:10

agreement, or in any way undermines

the principles that led up to the

0:56:100:56:14

creation of that Good Friday

Agreement?

0:56:140:56:17

Has the Secretary of State had the

chance to speak to the Sri Lankan

0:56:260:56:30

ambassador regarding his defence of

-- attache and his behaviour on the

0:56:300:56:38

4th of February, when he made stoat

slitting gestures to Tamil

0:56:380:56:43

protesters? If somebody else incited

hatred in this way on our streets,

0:56:430:56:46

they would be interviewed by the

police. Can you make arrangements

0:56:460:56:49

for this person to be interviewed by

the police about this crime?

Can I

0:56:490:56:54

reassure the honourable gentleman

that the UK takes this incident very

0:56:540:56:58

seriously. When I spoke recently to

the Foreign Minister, he left me in

0:56:580:57:03

no doubt the Sri Lankan government

is treating it with the seriousness

0:57:030:57:06

it deserves. The government has now

informed us that they have ordered

0:57:060:57:10

the defence attache to return to

Colombo from London for immediate

0:57:100:57:14

consultations while this event is

thoroughly investigated. I hope the

0:57:140:57:20

UK and Sri Lankan bilateral

relationship will remain strong and

0:57:200:57:22

cooperative.

The Foreign Secretary

shares my view that our leadership

0:57:220:57:28

in Green conservation is a source of

real national pride, but can I

0:57:280:57:31

please urge him to use the

Commonwealth heads of government

0:57:310:57:35

meeting in April to press our

Commonwealth allies, more than half

0:57:350:57:39

of whom are island states, to make

this a high priority and discussion

0:57:390:57:41

of there?

I thank my honourable

friend and congratulate him on the

0:57:410:57:47

pioneering role he has played in

championing the Blue Belt

0:57:470:57:53

initiative, which is a consecrated

-- has consecrated, I believe,

0:57:530:58:00

millions of square miles of ocean,

protecting habitat and species

0:58:000:58:04

around the world, and the UK

Government, as he knows, has put a

0:58:040:58:07

further 20 million into that scheme.

It is our ambition at the

0:58:070:58:11

Commonwealth summit, as he rightly

foreshadows, to go further with

0:58:110:58:14

those ambitions.

The Foreign

Secretary will be aware of the

0:58:140:58:20

plight of my constituents Mr Mrs

Westwood. They were first of all

0:58:200:58:24

defrauded of Aaron Tyr possessions

in Zimbabwe, and then forced to flee

0:58:240:58:28

for their lives from armed gangs

with links to the Mugabe regime. Can

0:58:280:58:35

he explain why recently they X there

were received a letter that said the

0:58:350:58:38

Commonwealth office would no longer

be willing to give them assistance?

0:58:380:58:42

Would he be willing to meet with

them and make to give them their

0:58:420:58:46

assurance that the Foreign and

Commonwealth Office are not going to

0:58:460:58:48

abandon them?

I am happy to give the

honourable gentleman that assurance.

0:58:480:58:53

, cast my right honourable friend,

what his view is on the position of

0:58:530:58:59

the Ecuadorian Embassy in London?

The situation that has been going on

0:58:590:59:03

since the 19th of June, 2012, and in

the first three years, estimated to

0:59:030:59:08

cost the Metropolitan Police extra

£11 million. When are we going to

0:59:080:59:11

take some action?

Julian Assange

breached his bail conditions in

0:59:110:59:17

2012, and in upholding the arrest

warrant on the 13th of February,

0:59:170:59:20

judge Arbuthnot said, he appears to

consider himself above the normal

0:59:200:59:24

rules of the law and wants justice

only if it goes in his favour. Our

0:59:240:59:28

view, Mr Speaker, is that he is not

a view of arbitrary detention. He is

0:59:280:59:32

avoiding lawful arrest, he should

step outside the door, face justice,

0:59:320:59:37

and that would bring an end to the

matter.

0:59:370:59:40

Almost two years ago, a constituent

of mine was murdered in Trinidad.

0:59:400:59:44

Since then, his mother and I have

been working with officials in both

0:59:440:59:47

countries to secure justice, but

progress has been grindingly slow.

0:59:470:59:50

The case in Shannon and has now been

27 times. -- in Trinidad. Will the

0:59:500:59:55

government ensure this is in Dallas

on the agenda when the president of

0:59:551:00:00

Trinidad lizards in April, and will

they allow time during the official

1:00:001:00:03

visit to meet with Sharon and I tell

her secure justice?

Can I commend

1:00:031:00:07

the honourable gentleman for the

manner in which he is defending the

1:00:071:00:10

interests of his constituents. I am

acutely aware of this case, where

1:00:101:00:13

Adrian was murdered in Trinidad, and

we can't interfere in the judicial

1:00:131:00:19

process, but we are extending every

possible support we can, and I can

1:00:191:00:23

advise the house that we understand

that a preliminary trial to

1:00:231:00:27

determine if there is sufficient

evidence to charge the accused with

1:00:271:00:30

murder will be held on the 8th of

March, and I hope this will mark

1:00:301:00:33

some progress in what he is seeking.

... The seventh anniversary of the

1:00:331:00:42

start of the Libyan uprising and the

ousting of Colonel Gaddafi. The

1:00:421:00:47

Prime Minister of nearly two years

has seen painfully slow progress.

1:00:471:00:51

Would my right honourable friend

update the house on what his

1:00:511:00:55

department are doing to help the

government of national accord to

1:00:551:00:57

bring about a prosperous and more

importantly peaceful Libya?

1:00:571:01:01

I'm very grateful to my honourable

friend for his interest in a country

1:01:011:01:06

that is still bedevilled by

factional feuding between a very

1:01:061:01:11

small number of men, who have it in

their power to come together and

1:01:111:01:16

build a better future for Libya.

About half a dozen of them, have the

1:01:161:01:20

maximum. And what we are trying to

do is back the efforts of the UN

1:01:201:01:23

special representative to bring the

eastern and western parts of Libya

1:01:231:01:29

together with a plan for the whole

country, a new constitution, to be

1:01:291:01:33

followed by election is.

That's what

we're working for.

1:01:331:01:36

Can I ask the Middle East minister

what representations have been made

1:01:361:01:39

in the case of the president of the

Bahrain Scent Of The Human Rights,

1:01:391:01:47

who is facing another long prison

sentence tomorrow simply by taking

1:01:471:01:50

to social media to criticise in

torture Bahrain's prisons and the

1:01:501:01:53

Saudi led war in Yemen?

There are a small number of those

1:01:531:02:01

who have been arrested and had

lengthy trial in Bahrain. The UK has

1:02:011:02:05

made representations in a number of

these cases, including the ones you

1:02:051:02:09

mentioned, we continue to monitor

the trials and processes very

1:02:091:02:11

carefully.

Estimates suggest that 12 million

1:02:111:02:17

tonnes of plastic go to our oceans

every year, causing immense damage

1:02:171:02:21

to our ecosystems. Would my right

honourable friend agree that not

1:02:211:02:25

only do we need to get involved in

this on the global stage to

1:02:251:02:29

influence cleaning it up, but we

need to lead by example in the UK,

1:02:291:02:33

not least, it might only be a small

thing, but in giving up plastic as

1:02:331:02:37

far as we can for Lent, which many

honourable members are doing?

I

1:02:371:02:43

think the honourable lady speaks for

millions of people in this country

1:02:431:02:48

who feel ashamed to see the state of

our oceans and wish that they could

1:02:481:02:52

be cleared up, and I think that this

country is actually showing a lead,

1:02:521:02:58

and cracking down on plastic waste

will soon tell it surely be at the

1:02:581:03:02

heart of the Commonwealth. I don't

know how easily I can give up

1:03:021:03:05

plastic for Lent. I see I have a

plastic spiral in my right hand. I

1:03:051:03:11

propose to take it out and dispose

of it in a suitable manner, but

1:03:111:03:14

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