Results 1–20 of 4056 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Alan Duncan

Russia and the Council of Europe — [Mr George Howarth in the Chair] (18 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: Thank you, Mr Howarth, for calling me to speak and for your chairmanship of this debate. I am very grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Henley (John Howell) for securing this debate, because I genuinely welcome this opportunity to put on the record my appreciation and the Government’s appreciation of his contribution and that of all other hon. Members who are active members of the...

Russia and the Council of Europe — [Mr George Howarth in the Chair] (18 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: It is not for me to make a judgment of that sort, and if I might say so, the words I have been uttering have not been—and should not be—particularly warm. We see it as the intention of Russia to exploit instability wherever it sees it. Whenever it sees a problem, instead of trying to solve it—as we would in our foreign policy—it tries to make it worse in order to...

Russia and the Council of Europe — [Mr George Howarth in the Chair] (18 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: I consider that I have replied to that question. It is not for me to dictate to the Council of Europe exactly what it should do, and that is why we are having today’s debate. I work with representatives in this room; I do not stand here to instruct them. As we have heard, the sanctions against the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe were in response...

Nord Stream 2 (17 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: I express my gratitude to my hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Mark Pritchard) for securing this debate. I recognise his long-standing commitment to foreign policy and security issues, particularly in this region. I am also very grateful for the very constructive comments made by other hon. Members. I will try to respond to the points. I start by saying that President Trump’s...

Nord Stream 2 (17 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: That is slightly tangential, as the hon. Gentleman admitted in his first sentence. Wherever I go, visas are a serious diplomatic problem. They cause a lot of upset in many countries when people, quite rightly and with reasonable intent, wish to travel here, but find that it is very expensive, it takes a long time and it is sometimes very inefficient.

Nord Stream 2 (17 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: I can answer that straightaway. I am fully aware that Denmark has not yet issued the relevant permits for the construction of Nord Stream 2—which would be in its territorial waters, as has been mentioned. We have raised our security of supply concerns with Denmark, and we anticipate its decision in the autumn. The former Foreign Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge...

Foreign Affairs Committee (12 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: May I put on the record the Government’s thanks to the Committee for its hard work in preparing the report following its inquiry into the western Balkans? I have listened to today’s exchanges with great interest. They are well timed, coming so soon after the successful western Balkans summit at the beginning of the week. At our summit, the meeting of Foreign Ministers, which I...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: May I also congratulate my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke)? At the outset, I want to thank him for his question and his leadership of the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition. The Government welcome the publication of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s reports and are grateful for its vital work and examination of...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: I am grateful to my right hon. and learned Friend. As he rightly says, he was the Minister who made statements to the House on whether there should be a judge-led inquiry. Indeed, as Justice Secretary, he made a statement in January 2012, and as Minister without Portfolio, he made a further statement in December 2013. In the further statement, there was a slight measure of doubt about whether...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: I listened very carefully to what the right hon. Lady said and I would be grateful if she thought again about the words she used when she accused officials in our agencies—I think that I quote accurately—of being “involved in torture”. They were not involved in torture, so I really think the right hon. Lady may want to come back to the House and say that, actually,...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for his comments. I quite understand what he is saying about the difficulty of a Committee working when it is not actually constituted, and I hear what he says about the Libyan cases. In the case of witnesses, I think it has been made clear in the House that he regrets that he was unable to see more of them, but the fundamental question here is: if...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: When it comes to unlawful rendition, there is now a very different system. The UK’s immigration authorities are responsible for the collection of manifests, for instance, for private flights arriving in or transiting through the UK. If we had strong, verifiable information that an individual on board was being rendered contrary to international law principles, we anticipate that the...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: I appreciate my right hon. Friend’s comments. As I said earlier, the question of whether there should be a judge-led inquiry is still to be considered, but on the question of torture generally I hope the House will appreciate that the Government do not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment for any purpose whatsoever. We...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: We will continue our close co-operation will the United States on a range of foreign and security policy issues, but we will maintain our integrity on human rights and interrogation procedures. Intelligence sharing between our two countries has undoubtedly saved British lives, and in both countries intelligence work takes place within a very strong legal framework. We operate under the rule...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: If there is one person in the House whom I would most definitely not describe as a bleeding heart liberal it is my right hon. Friend. I understand exactly what he says, and again I can but reiterate that the Government, in everything they do, under much enhanced rules, procedures and practices and on the back of what we have learned from the Committee and the preceding events, will uphold the...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: The hon. Gentleman’s question itself illustrates the period over which much of this has unfolded. It has been well over a decade, and over that period we have learned an enormous amount and changed our practices. We are fundamentally opposed to unlawful rendition, to which he referred, and as such we do not use rendition. It is not part of our security apparatus. If a foreign Government...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: There will of course be a formal Government response to the Committee’s reports within 60 days, and if it is thought that any such comment is needed in that regard, of course it will be made. I thank my hon. Friend for everything that he does in the Council of Europe, a body in which there are many controversies and in which his voice, and that of the United Kingdom, do an enormous...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: The Prime Minister, on behalf of the Government, apologised unreservedly to Mr Belhaj and his wife in May this year, saying that we were profoundly sorry for the ordeal that they had suffered and for the role that we had played in it. As we said at the time, the UK Government have learnt many lessons from this period, and I believe that those lessons have now been converted into much-enhanced...

Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition (2 Jul 2018)

Alan Duncan: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for all the work that he has been doing on the Committee. As he rightly points out, we are already the only country that publishes guidance. The Committee found no evidence that agencies had deliberately turned a blind eye, but the Investigatory Powers Commissioner now has a very important role to play in the oversight of the consolidated guidance. Last...


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