Global Britain and the International Rules-based Order

Part of Brexit, Science and Innovation – in the House of Commons at 3:24 pm on 6th September 2018.

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Photo of Mike Gapes Mike Gapes Labour/Co-operative, Ilford South 3:24 pm, 6th September 2018

I do not wish to go any further down that route, because I am getting signals from Mr Deputy Speaker about time. The hon. Gentleman can no doubt make his own speech when the time comes.

I want to conclude by focusing on one other area, which is what the United States Administration are doing to the global order. The Chairman of the Select Committee made reference to Senator John McCain. The suggestion has been made that the new NATO headquarters should be named after the senator. I met him when I was previously on the Foreign Affairs Committee and we were always given the greatest courtesy. He took us on a tour to the Statuary Hall to have an informal chat with him as well as a formal meeting. He was an outstanding internationalist—one did not have to agree with him on everything, but he was always polite, friendly, warm, interesting and engaged. What a tragedy it is today that the President of the United States and some of those around him are the opposite of that. They are challenging the international order, which the United States and the Labour Government established in 1945, with Eleanor Roosevelt playing an important role in the United Nations system and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In those days, we had co-operation to build a new peaceful world. Unfortunately, the demagogues, the populists, and the extremists—on the far left and the far right—are undermining that order. It is under serious threat and serious challenge and we in this country and we in my party must fight to defend it.