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Britain's Place in the World

Part of Speaker’s Statement – in the House of Commons at 6:49 pm on 15th October 2019.

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Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State 6:49 pm, 15th October 2019

No, I will not, because I have only three and a half more minutes.

The leader of the Labour party may run to defend President Putin, like some north London primped and plucked poodle, but Government Members will work with our allies to stand up for and protect the people of this country. We will work with all our international partners to shine the spotlight on Iran’s violation of international law, from the attack on the Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia to its cruel and unlawful detention of United Kingdom nationals. We will work with our European and American friends to secure Iran’s compliance with its obligations not to develop nuclear weapons, and we will engage with all our partners to prevent the bloodshed in north-eastern Syria.

One of the strongest speeches I heard today was made by Stephen Twigg. I do not have time to answer all his points, but if his speech tonight was the last that he makes in this Chamber, he will be a sad loss at the general election when he retires. I am afraid that it was not possible at the United Nations to come to an agreement to produce a resolution, but we have released a statement with our European partners, and we will ask for further work to be done at the UN tomorrow.

We will also be a constructive voice on Hong Kong, supporting its people’s right to peaceful protest and encouraging political dialogue on all sides to give effect to the one country, two systems model that China has consistently advocated since 1984. My right hon. Friend the International Development Secretary has made clear our robust stance on Venezuela, in contrast to the leader of the Labour party, who celebrates the achievements of that despotic regime and does so as people starve.

We will be a force for good and a champion of causes that know no borders. On the international stage, we will show the leadership of the next generation, as it expects us to, by hosting the United Nations climate summit—COP 26—in Glasgow next year, in partnership with Italy. We will bring to bear both our world-class innovation and our determination to leave our environment in a better state for our children and theirs, in the United Kingdom and across the world. We will continue to lead global action to help to provide 12 years of quality education for all girls by 2030 and leave no girl behind. We are proud of the new media freedom coalition we have set up with Canada. Some 26 countries are already signed up, having committed to protecting media freedoms, speaking out against abuses and standing up for journalists who are detained, bullied and brutalised around the world.

That is the mission of this Government: to deliver Brexit, faithful to the promises made to the British people; to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead for a truly global Britain; and to reinforce the United Kingdom’s role as a force for good in the world. I commend the Gracious Speech to the House.

Ordered, That the debate be now adjourned.—(Mike Freer.)

Debate to be resumed tomorrow.