The UK should not be signing trade deals with countries that are committing genocide. I believe that this is one of the most basic criteria that should be placed on the process of trade deal negotiations.
Far from rewarding these countries with lucrative trade deals, the UK should be using its diplomatic powers to hold these countries to account, end the genocides and bring those responsible to justice.
However, despite some cross-party support, the anti-genocide amendment that had been included in the Trade Bill by the House of Lords was removed in the House of Commons on 19 January.
Only 34 Conservative MPs remembered their election manifesto promise that the UK would continue to be “a champion” of human rights and voted to keep the amendment in the Bill. 319 Conservative MPs voted to remove the amendment, which defeated the cross-party 308 votes.
I voted to keep the amendment in the Bill and I can assure you that my Opposition colleagues and I will continue to vote in favour of adding an anti-genocide amendment to the Trade Bill at future stages of the process.