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Promoting Democracy and Human Rights

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 13th October 2008.

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Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry Conservative, Banbury 5:15 pm, 13th October 2008

My hon. Friend is making a powerful speech. May I put to him another reason why it is important that this must be done at EU level? It strikes me, as vice-chairman of the all-party China group, that one of the difficulties that we have in situations to do with countries such as China or India is that we are simultaneously trying to promote trade and talking about human rights. It is often difficult for individual countries to do that in the same conversation, whereas if the EU as a whole brings pressure to bear on China or India on an issue such as Burma, we are making it clear that, irrespective of our separate interests, our concern about human rights is paramount and overwhelming.