Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 9th June 2021.

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Photo of Stephen Kinnock Stephen Kinnock Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress has been made towards the establishment of a parliamentary committee to examine allegations of genocide.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Charging a Committee with the functions set out in section 3 of the Trade Act is a matter for Parliament. During the passage of the Bill, it was not possible to secure agreement on which committees would be responsible for this process. However, I can now confirm that the Foreign Affairs Select Committee (FAC) has agreed to be charged with the role in the Commons, subject to agreement by the House. This proposal was agreed through usual channel discussions with the Chair of the FAC and other parties. Discussions are still ongoing in the House of Commons, and are due to begin shortly in the House of Lords.

As previously agreed, the Government will also support the responsible Committees in both Houses being able to refer reports of genocide, in the territory of a prospective Free Trade Agreement counter-party, to a joint committee. Again, once charged, this will be a matter for each House and the responsible Committees to determine, and the Government has committed to bring forward motions if necessary.

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