G20 Summit

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:42 pm on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 3:42 pm, 3rd December 2018

The right hon. Gentleman ranged over a number of issues. Let me pick out some key ones.

First—as I have made entirely clear in my conversations with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the Foreign Secretary’s conversations with King Salman himself, in my conversations with King Salman, and in other interactions with Saudi Arabia, we have been absolutely robust in our response in relation to the terrible murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and very clear about the need for those responsible to be held to account.

The right hon. Gentleman referred to the war in Yemen. I might remind him that the coalition intervention in Yemen was actually requested by the legitimate Government of Yemen, and has been acknowledged by the United Nations Security Council.

The right hon. Gentleman asked whether I had spoken to President Trump. I did speak to President Trump in the margins of the meeting. I was clear with him that we can indeed do a trade deal with the United States of America with the deal that is on the table with the European Union. We recognise that the working group that exists between the UK and the USA, which is looking at trade arrangements for the future, has been making good progress.

The right hon. Gentleman made various other references to issues relating to trade. Yes, I did discuss trade with a number of the other leaders I met. Prime Minister Abe of Japan made it very clear that he looked forward to being able to discuss the United Kingdom’s possible membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and, indeed, that was echoed by others with whom I spoke at the G20 summit.

I am very interested that the right hon. Gentleman made so many references to trade. Of course, he used to want to do trade deals with other countries, and he put that in his manifesto, but just last week he said that he did not want to do trade deals after all. Trade deals will be important to the economy of this country in the future, and we are certainly committed to those trade deals around the rest of the world.

The right hon. Gentleman then talked about corporation tax. I might remind him that yes, we have cut corporation tax, which has been of benefit to businesses, employers and jobs in this country, and guess what? We cut corporation tax, and we are raising more money from it. We have employment at record levels, and we are the first choice in Europe for foreign direct investment.

One thing that I omitted from my statement was that during some of the other conversations that I had with leaders of countries in South America, they were reflecting on the migration problem that is being caused by the terrible situation of the economy in Venezuela.