To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to paragraph 10 of her Department's technical advice on the labelling of produce grown in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, what her Department's policy is on whether goods originating from Israeli settlements in the West Bank should be stocked by retailers.
The Government's policy in relation to Israeli settlements on the West Bank is quite clear: those settlements are illegal, and they constitute a barrier to a lasting peace. However, it does not believe that a Government-imposed ban or boycott of settlement produce would help engage or influence Israel, or lead to progress in the Middle East Peace Process. The reason why DEFRA issued the technical advice referred to by the hon. Member was to make it easier for consumers to make their own choices about whether or not to buy produce originating in the illegal settlements, and of course retailers themselves are free to decide not to sell goods from the Israeli settlements if they so wish.