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Baroness spoke in the House of Lords about the Trade Bill on 29th September

Baroness spoke in the House of Lords about the Trade Bill on 29th September

My Lords, I will speak very briefly, just to put on record the issues I would have highlighted in my speech if I had not ineptly failed to identify the amendments to which I intended to speak, for which I apologise. I will have much more to say when we reach Amendment 68, on genocide, at later sittings.

It is a privilege to speak in support of Amendment 33. On 29 June I spoke in support of an amendment, also moved by my noble friend Lord Alton, to the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill, saying:

“This is not about China or Chinese companies … It is a conflict of values between … democratic societies and repressive, cruel regimes”—[Official Report, 29/6/20; col. 529.]

such as China—and I would add today, as they are especially relevant, Turkey and Azerbaijan.

China is undertaking religious persecution of Muslims and Christians, using slave labour and incarcerating Uighurs in concentration camps, as noble Lords have already heard. There is also the enforced sterilisation of Uighur women in four prefectures, which would violate the 1948 Geneva convention.

The United States has banned imports, including cotton and computer parts, from five regions in China, claiming that these extraordinary human rights violations demand an extraordinary response. This is modern-day slavery. As I finish my brief resumé, for the protection of our national security, our national interest and our values, I believe Amendment 33 is essential and Parliament should have the right to ratify trade agreements.

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