To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of whether hon. Members and Peers will be allowed to visit (a) Gaza and (b) Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement.
9 June 2015
Entry and exit from Gaza is difficult and can, at times, be impossible. Entry is through either Israel, with permission from the Israeli authorities, or Egypt, with permission from the Egyptian authorities (although this border has been closed almost entirely since October 2014). Members and Peers should be aware that at this time the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to Gaza. We do not make representations on behalf of British Nationals, including parliamentarians, wishing to travel.
The Government has repeatedly made clear to the Chinese and Hong Kong Governments that the decision to refuse to allow the members of the previous Foreign Affairs Committee to enter Hong Kong in December 2014 was wholly unjustified and counter-productive. The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire) visited Hong Kong on 8 January and met the President of the Legislative Council and a wide range of legislators, which was particularly important given their key role in the constitutional reform process. In addition, FCO officials have regular contacts with the Hong Kong Government. It is the Government’s assessment that British Parliamentarians can visit Hong Kong.