European Council

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:08 pm on 24th March 2005.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Tony Blair Tony Blair Prime Minister 1:08 pm, 24th March 2005

It is important to emphasise that the idea in the abstract of lifting the China arms embargo has never been separate from the notion that it should be replaced with a strong code of conduct that should provide for a far more rational method of determining sales to China. I do not put the human rights considerations to the side: on the contrary, I think that they are very important. I would simply underline the fact that the debate in Europe has taken a different turn over the past few weeks. We are in the thick of that debate, trying to ensure that whatever Europe does, it does it with real sensitivity to the values in which we and our American allies believe, and that we introduce a system that is rational in the light of what is happening in China today.