China

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 3:43 pm, 20th July 2020

I thank the hon. Gentleman and welcome his support on the two measures that we have announced today.

The hon. Gentleman asks about the Magnitsky sanctions. I made this point to Lisa Nandy. I welcome the full and eager support for the regime that the Government have just introduced, but with cross-party support, which we welcome. I just call for a note of caution on speed. It is very important that these targeted sanctions are done right, not quick. If we do them too quickly, they will be legally challenged. Not only would they then be ineffective, but we would risk, as I said to the hon. Lady, giving a propaganda coup to the very individuals whom we are seeking to hold to account.

On extradition, the approach we have taken, and I set it out quite deliberately, was that we are suspending—not just wholesale terminating, but suspending—the extradition treaty arrangements, so that it is clear that they could be resuscitated in the future. As I also made clear, we would need to have clear, adequate and robust safeguards to protect against the potential abuses that we see in the national security legislation before that could even be contemplated. That is the approach that we would consider.

The hon. Gentleman also referred to my comment about there being a different tone on the Opposition Benches. I hope he does not mind my noting that it was not that long ago that the Scottish Government’s China engagement strategy called for Scotland to be seen as the “preferred” trade and investment partner in China. I sense that there is a slight nuance in position in 2020.