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Overseas Trade: Human Rights

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL4356, tabled on 8 December 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the reply by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 7 December (HL Deb, col 1310), what assessment they have made of whether the statement that they "never allow issues about our economic relationship to get in the way of upholding international law and international humanitarian law" is consistent with the remarks in June 2014 by the then Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, Michael Fallon, that "we should not allow" concerns about human rights "to get in the way of a very important trade relationship".

Answered on

16 December 2015

As the first country to produce a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights we have advocated the view that the promotion of business and respect for human rights go hand in hand. We see these as mutually reinforcing. The degree of influence we have with a country, including on human rights issues, depends on many factors; as a general rule we have more influence with countries with whom we have a strong trade and investment relationship.