Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 15th June 2004.

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Photo of Tony Lloyd Tony Lloyd Labour, Manchester Central 11:30 am, 15th June 2004

My hon. Friend rightly points to the substantial improvement in Turkey's human rights record since the election of the present Government, but he also points out, rightly, that Turkey has some considerable way to go to conform to its existing commitments as a signatory to the convention on human rights of the Council of Europe. Will my hon. Friend make it clear that while human rights are certainly a measure by which Turkey's accession to the European Union will be judged, from Britain's point of view we want Turkey to be a member and one that conforms to proper EU standards, and that those from other partner countries in the EU who seem to wish to impose an arbitrary block on Turkey are heading in the wrong direction?