UK-China Trading Relationship

Part of International Trade – in the House of Commons on 10th June 2021.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Development), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

Happy birthday, Mr Speaker.

Two weeks ago, we heard that Jimmy Lai, the owner of the largest pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong, had not only been sentenced for a second time but has now had his assets frozen. This step makes it incredibly hard to continue to fund his journalistic enterprises, which in turn has a chilling implication for a free press in Hong Kong. Colleagues across this House have called on the Government to implement Magnitsky sanctions, but there is concern that the UK’s sluggishness to implement sanctions is because the Government seek a future trade deal with China. Can the Minister clarify: is the prospect of a future deal causing this Government to treat China with leniency it does not deserve?