Oral Answers to Questions

Nigel Adams Excerpts
Tuesday 2nd May 2023

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber
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Andrew Mitchell Portrait Mr Mitchell
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I do not know her constituent’s current position and whether she is in Port Sudan, but this is probably an issue that is better dealt with outside the Chamber and I would be happy to see the hon. Member immediately.

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams (Selby and Ainsty) (Con)
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The World Bank has suggested that the minimum amount of money needed for post-war reconstruction of Ukraine is £411 billion. While it is for the Ukrainian Government and people to decide whose money will be used and on what terms, what is the Foreign Secretary doing to ensure that the United Kingdom is on the front foot in planning how to fund the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine?

James Cleverly Portrait James Cleverly
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I thank my right hon. Friend for that point. I am proud that the UK will be hosting the Ukraine reconstruction conference in June. We are doing what the UK perhaps does best: bringing together influential voices and, more importantly, finance, and ensuring that they meet and talk. Underpinning all of that has got to be the belief that any investment in Ukraine will be protected. That is why it is very important that we make it clear that we will put that arm of protection around the Ukrainians for the foreseeable future.

British Council

Nigel Adams Excerpts
Wednesday 8th September 2021

(2 years, 8 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Westminster Hall is an alternative Chamber for MPs to hold debates, named after the adjoining Westminster Hall.

Each debate is chaired by an MP from the Panel of Chairs, rather than the Speaker or Deputy Speaker. A Government Minister will give the final speech, and no votes may be called on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

Nigel Adams Portrait The Minister for Asia (Nigel Adams)
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I thank the hon. Member for North East Fife (Wendy Chamberlain) for securing this important debate on the British Council’s global presence. I will take my mask off; that would probably help. I am grateful for the interventions of other hon. Members. I am also conscious that I need to give the hon. Lady a couple of minutes, if she would like that, to sum up.

The hon. Lady has already said that the British Council plays an absolutely crucial role as one of the UK’s international organisations for cultural and educational opportunities and cultural relationships. It is an arm’s length body of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. It has a core mission to promote English-language education, arts and culture across the globe, and it does a fantastic job of that. It delivers key soft-power benefits to the United Kingdom, and it is a crucial part of our overseas presence, operating in over 100 countries. The British Council’s own figures show that, in 2019-20, it reached 983 million people.

We recognise the British Council’s considerable contribution to promoting our influence and values overseas. It is important to acknowledge, however, the devastating impact of the covid pandemic on British Council operations. As the chairman has said a number of times, the organisation went from producing almost £1 billion of revenue to producing virtually zero overnight. It takes a lot to recover from that.

At the peak of the pandemic, over 90% of the British Council’s teaching and exam centres were forced to close. The hon. Lady referred to the fact that we have provided the council with additional financial support in an extremely challenging fiscal climate. We are facing the worst economic contraction in over 300 years and a budget deficit of close to £400 billion. However, to depart slightly from the bonhomie, I politely suggest that the hon. Lady’s remark that we were refusing to provide financial support to the British Council is frankly, on every level, inaccurate. Despite these unprecedented economic circumstances, we have allocated over £600 million to the council since the pandemic hit. The hon. Lady may not be aware of that figure.

Chris Stephens Portrait Chris Stephens
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I thank the Minister for giving way. Can he tell us today what the conditions are for that £600 million in terms of loans?

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
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I can certainly go into some more detail on the financial settlement. It included a 2021-22 spending review settlement, in 2020, that totalled £189 million. That is a 27% increase. Furthermore, £150 million of the settlement is composed of ODA, while the non-ODA allocation of £39 million is triple that of the 2020-21 baseline. In addition to the settlement, we are providing loan support, which the hon. Member for North East Fife referenced. That is up to £245 million and includes a £100 million loan to support restructuring efforts and to rebuild commercial surpluses.

Chris Stephens Portrait Chris Stephens
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Will the Minister give way?

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
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I will come on to the point made by the hon. Member for Glasgow South West (Chris Stephens). The hon. Member for North East Fife suggested that the British Council had to provide a business plan to secure a loan. I am not entirely sure that a business plan requirement is a particularly heinous thing to ask of the British Council. I would be grateful if any hon. Members could point me to a bank or any lender that would provide a loan without at least politely asking what that money would be used for. We worked very closely with the management and board of the British Council to come to this arrangement on the loans. We have worked very hard with them; they have done an incredible amount of work, and I pay tribute to Stevie Spring, the leadership and the interim chief executive.

Chris Stephens Portrait Chris Stephens
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I thank the Minister; he is being very generous. There are problems with the restructuring, and the outcome is that some of the industrial relations from the British Council need to be improved. Is the Minister’s Department scrutinising how the British Council is carrying out the restructuring? Would he be prepared to meet me and PCS representatives to hear our concerns?

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
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I am more than happy to meet the hon. Gentleman or any hon. Member here today to discuss the British Council. We discussed it in the main Chamber quite recently, and I am more than happy to do so again. Members are very welcome to come into the FCDO and meet me and our soft-power team, who work incredibly closely with the British Council. Clearly, changes such as staffing are operational matters for the council itself. We understand that it is working incredibly hard to restore its commercial operations and to maximise its revenues. It is a particularly difficult time.

While we have had to make difficult decisions across all Departments and in other areas, we are increasing the money we are providing to the British Council. Never has there been a clearer endorsement by the Government of the British Council and the important soft-power role it plays. However, the unprecedented impact of the pandemic has forced the Government to take tough but necessary decisions about the British Council’s global presence. It has reinforced the need for the council to do more to adapt to a changing world. As the interim chief executive of the British Council said at the time, the British Council will stop spending grant-in-aid funding in 11 countries and will deliver grant-in-aid programming through offices for a further nine countries.

Let me re-emphasise that decisions on presence were taken only after a thorough assessment alongside the British Council of how the council’s priorities link with the Government’s foreign policy objective, as set out in the IR, as well as how the British Council can achieve the greatest impact.

In the debate in the main Chamber, some said that the British Council can make a meaningful impact only with an office in-country. That, frankly, is incorrect. I said in June that it would be a strategic mistake to judge the impact of the British Council in a digital world by its physical presence. This crisis—the pandemic—has changed the way we all operate, and the British Council has done an excellent job.

Wendy Chamberlain Portrait Wendy Chamberlain
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We returned to Westminster this week and to business as usual—in 2019, when I was elected as an MP, I did not really know what normal was—and I am sure everybody here has really benefitted from a physical presence. I absolutely understand that the British Council needs to look at different ways of delivering its services, but does the Minister agree that sometimes you absolutely cannot beat face-to-face contact and being there physically?

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
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I do. In an ideal world, that is the case, but there are services that can be delivered digitally. Since the pandemic, the British Council has done a brilliant job of turning around its business model. It is rapidly expanding its digital services in response to the covid crisis. As an example, a year after the pandemic forced us into lockdown last March, there were over 80,000 students learning English online with the British Council. There were nearly 10 million visitors recorded across its online English language platforms, which is an incredibly impressive transformation in a short time.

The British Council has also continued to deliver its excellent cultural programmes and events digitally during the pandemic. It launched its Culture Connects Us programme—a digital online campaign about the value of culture for international connections and exchange. I personally had the pleasure of taking part in an online session with leading figures from the UK and Japanese cultural sectors as part of the UK and Japan season that the British Council headed up.

There is no doubt that the British Council can maintain impact through digital delivery. I understand what the hon. Member for North East Fife says, but we will continue to support the council to invest in this area. It has a proven track record now of maintaining impact through digital delivery. We are confident that investing further in that will serve to enhance its offer.

The changes to its presence are necessarily accompanied by further measures to streamline and enhance the council’s governance structures. We have agreed with the council a new set of key performance indicators and targets, and measures to update the council’s charitable objectives to focus on its core mission. I am delighted that Scott McDonald, who I met online prior to appointment and have since met physically, has now taken up his role as chief executive of the British Council. I have no doubt that he, alongside the exceptional chairman, Stevie Spring, will provide the strong leadership needed to put the British Council on a steady footing for the future.

I am conscious that we are nearly at the two-minute stage, Ms Rees. To summarise, we are absolutely committed to ensuring the future success of the British Council. We have provided a strong rescue and reform package to support it through the pandemic and to enhance its governance structure. It is important that the British Council can make the most impact in a changing world. It will continue to operate in over 100 countries and the FCDO will ensure that it can continue to play a leading role in promoting UK soft power and all our integrated objectives.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees (in the Chair)
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Unfortunately, in 30-minute debates the Member in charge does not have two minutes at the end to respond. I am sorry for the disappointment.

Wendy Chamberlain Portrait Wendy Chamberlain
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It is my first Westminster Hall debate.

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
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The hon. Lady could make a two-minute intervention.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees (in the Chair)
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I will put the question.

Question put and agreed to.

Global Britain: Human Rights and Climate Change

Nigel Adams Excerpts
Tuesday 7th September 2021

(2 years, 8 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Westminster Hall is an alternative Chamber for MPs to hold debates, named after the adjoining Westminster Hall.

Each debate is chaired by an MP from the Panel of Chairs, rather than the Speaker or Deputy Speaker. A Government Minister will give the final speech, and no votes may be called on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

Nigel Adams Portrait The Minister for Asia (Nigel Adams)
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I will. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Betts. I start by thanking the hon. Member for Arfon (Hywel Williams) for securing this important and wide-ranging debate, and I thank all hon. Members for their contributions. I will try to respond to all the points raised, and I note that I need to give the hon. Gentleman a couple of minutes at the end of the debate.

Let me begin with Afghanistan, because a number of hon. Members rightly mentioned it as uppermost in our minds. Incredibly brave human rights activists and project partners were among the 15,000 people that the UK evacuated from Kabul between 15 and 29 August. The Foreign Secretary has led work with other countries in the region to ensure safe passage to the UK for those eligible. That is our immediate priority. We have committed to resettle 20,000 Afghan nationals most at risk from human rights violations and dehumanising treatment, under the Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme, which includes 5,000 in year one.

We are continuing to work for human rights in Afghanistan. The Foreign Secretary has set out a plan and is building an international coalition to that end. He has been clear that holding the Taliban to account on human rights, particularly their respect for the rights of women and girls and members of minority groups, which hon. Members are passionate about, must be one of the four touchstone priorities for any future international engagement. Hon. Members are right to be concerned about the rights of women and girls under the Taliban regime. That is why we are working to ensure that we have maximum moderating influence over the Taliban, and to ensure that the gains of the past two decades are not lost.

As hon. Members will recall, when the Government published its integrated review in March, we put the UK’s role as a force for good in the world front and centre of our security, defence, development and foreign policy. Our work on human rights and the environment are two areas where that is particularly evident. As part of the integrated review process, the Prime Minister set out that in 2021 and beyond the Government will make tackling climate change and biodiversity loss their No. 1 international priority. In the birthplace of the Magna Carta, with one of the world’s oldest and strongest democracies, we are deeply committed to the promotion and protection of human rights. It is in the DNA of this Government and has been of successive Governments from both sides of the House. It is not just about doing the right thing; it is evident that climate change, as described eloquently by many hon. Members, and human rights abuses and violations pose a significant threat to our national interests, our economy, our borders and our security. Tackling those is a huge priority.

The recent working group contribution to the sixth assessment report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change removes any doubt that human activities have warmed the planet and caused widespread and rapid changes to the climate. The report shows clearly that without immediate and drastic action, the impacts will be severe. We know that some of the changes to the planet are irreversible. It is clear that we must decarbonise the global economy faster. We can only achieve that through more ambitious national actions and international collaboration.

Every conversation that I, as Minister for Asia, and my colleagues at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office have with our counterparts involves deep discussion on ensuring that countries come forward with ambitious nationally determined contributions. As we approach COP26, we have a clear plan to deliver a comprehensive, ambitious and balanced set of negotiated outcomes that can halt rising temperatures and help those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. We have heard about many of those this afternoon.

We are focused on four priorities for the summit: mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and collaboration. As I have said, we are asking all countries to come forward ahead of the summit with ambitious commitments on reducing emissions, increasing climate finance and scaling up adaptation. We need every country to commit to net zero and we would like to see 2030 emissions reduction targets as part of their nationally determined contributions. We are working across governments, businesses and civil society to make real progress in the largest emitting sectors of power, road transport and land use, and to bend the curve on biodiversity loss and deforestation.

We have lobbied donor countries to step up their climate finance commitments in order to meet the goal of $100 billion a year that was agreed, as has been mentioned this afternoon, as part of the Paris agreement. The hon. Member for Cardiff South and Penarth (Stephen Doughty) referred to the £11.6 billion we have committed to double our climate finance over the next five years. We are doing all we can to deliver a summit that will be a turning point, and we are working closely with our public health officials, the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and all our partners to ensure that we have an in-person event to enable all those who need to to participate on an equal footing.

The hon. Member for Arfon was right to speak passionately about both climate change and human rights, as did many other hon. Members. We are alert to the potential for climate change to undermine the enjoyment of human rights. As the hon. Member for Dundee West (Chris Law) mentioned, without action on climate change, according to the World Bank and other organisations, 143 million people could be displaced by 2050. We are calling on countries to ensure that any action they take to respond to climate change and environmental degradation complies with their human rights obligations. It is also imperative that the actions we take globally to tackle climate change will support those countries where humanitarian needs are greatest. That was amplified by the contribution from the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mick Whitley), when he referenced the issues facing Madagascar.

Women and girls are an example of those who are affected disproportionately by the consequences of climate-related displacement, which has been a theme of many speeches this afternoon. For that reason, since 2018 we have committed to both the global compact on refugees and the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. By realising global climate finance targets and supporting credible strategies to help the vulnerable adapt to climate change, we can prevent and mitigate its impacts on lives, livelihoods and the human rights of those most affected.

We are committed to using COP26 to amplify the concerns of countries vulnerable to climate change and to agree actions to address their concerns. Briefly, I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Henley (John Howell), who was right to highlight the role of the Council of Europe on human rights, on his sterling work as a senior member of the Council.

We are committed to delivering a carbon-neutral COP26 summit and I thank the hon. Member for Arfon for his good wishes to the Government on delivering it successfully. I am conscious that I need to give the hon. Member a few moments to sum up, and I apologise that I have brought it down to about 80 seconds.

British Council: Sale of IELTS in India

Nigel Adams Excerpts
Thursday 22nd July 2021

(2 years, 10 months ago)

Written Statements
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Nigel Adams Portrait The Minister for Asia (Nigel Adams)
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I can today inform Parliament that the British Council, a non-departmental public body of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, will sell its IELTS English language test business in India to IDP Education, for £130 million. The business will be sold on a debt free, cash free basis.

Rationale

Like many organisations, covid-19 has had a significant financial impact on the British Council’s operations. The proceeds from the sale will strengthen the British Council’s financial position and support its modernisation process.

Format and timing

Due to the nature of the agreement between the British Council and its IELTS partners, there is only one possible buyer of the British Council’s India IELTS business. Ernst & Young provided an independent valuation, which concluded that the offer for the business was fair and reasonable.

UK Government Investments has worked closely with the FCDO providing valuable advice on commercial aspects of the British Council’s outline and full business cases for the transaction.

Fiscal impacts

I can confirm that the net sale proceeds of £120 million were above the Government’s retention value range.

Metric

Impact (over a five-year horizon)

Net sale proceeds

£120 million

Retention value range

Above

Public sector net borrowing

No immediate impact

Public sector net debt

Improved by a total of £120 million

Public sector net financial liabilities

Improved by a total of £120 million

Public sector net liabilities

Improved by a total of £118 million



[HCWS240]

Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018: Report on Regulations Made

Nigel Adams Excerpts
Thursday 15th July 2021

(2 years, 10 months ago)

Written Statements
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Nigel Adams Portrait The Minister for Asia (Nigel Adams)
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My hon. Friend the Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon) has made the following written ministerial statement:

I am today laying before Parliament a report, “Report under section 32 of the Sanctions and Anti- Money Laundering Act 2018 on the exercise of power to make Regulations under section 1 of the Act”.

The report details the regulations made under section 1 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 during the reporting period from 23 May 2020 to 22 May 2021, with a focus on those regulations which are aimed at dealing with gross violations of human rights.

We have also included information on additional actions the Government have taken related to human rights sanctions, including information on certain designations made in relation to serious human rights abuses or violations.

[HCWS184]

Beijing Winter Olympics and Chinese Government Sanctions

Nigel Adams Excerpts
Thursday 15th July 2021

(2 years, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Nigel Adams Portrait The Minister for Asia (Nigel Adams)
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May I start by congratulating my hon. Friend the Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton) on securing this debate? We have heard some passionate and well thought-through speeches throughout the afternoon. I am grateful to all hon. and right hon. Members for their contributions, and I will try to respond to as many of the points raised as possible before I hand back to my hon. Friend.

On the substantive issue of whether there should be a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 winter Olympic games, as I made clear at the Dispatch Box a couple of weeks ago at oral questions, and as the Prime Minister has previously made clear, no decisions have yet been made about UK Government attendance at the winter Olympics in Beijing.

One or two Members have mentioned that they would not like to see the games go ahead at all. Of course, the participation of Team GB at the Olympics and Paralympics is a matter for the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association. They operate independently of Government, as is absolutely right, and as is also required by International Olympic Committee regulations.

The Government have consistently been clear about our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang. In response, we have taken robust action, as has been pointed out by a number of hon. and right hon. Members. We have led international efforts to hold China to account for the gross human rights violations in Xinjiang. We have imposed sanctions on those responsible, and we have announced a package of robust domestic measures to help to ensure that no British organisations are complicit, including through their supply chains.

The Foreign Secretary has consistently raised our concerns directly with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, most recently at the end of May. He has also, on 22 March, announced asset freezes and travel bans under our global human rights sanctions regime against four Chinese Government officials and one entity, who we believe are responsible for the gross human rights violations in Xinjiang. Importantly, those measures were co-ordinated alongside sanctions from the United States, Canada and the European Union. The hon. Member for Bath (Wera Hobhouse) said that we should be working alongside the European Union. We have done, and that is why we have delivered those sanctions alongside the EU.

We believe that those actions send a clear message to the Chinese Government that the international community will not turn a blind eye to such serious and systematic violations of basic human rights. It speaks for itself that, while 30 countries were united in sanctioning those responsible for the violations, China’s response was to retaliate against its critics, a number of whom are in the Chamber today.

As the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have made clear, China’s attempts to silence those highlighting human rights violations at home and abroad, including its targeting of right hon. and hon. Friends and peers in the UK, are completely unwarranted and unacceptable. The freedom to speak out in opposition to human rights violations is fundamental, and the Government stand firm with all those who have been sanctioned, including my hon. Friend the Member for East Worthing and Shoreham and other right hon. and hon. Members.

On that point, on 26 March, I summoned the Chinese representative in the UK to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, where I lodged a strong formal protest at the actions of China. The sanctions we imposed in relation to Xinjiang followed the Foreign Secretary’s announcement on 12 January of a series of measures on UK supply chains. Those measures, which included a review of export controls, the introduction of financial penalties for organisations that fail to comply with their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act and robust guidance to UK businesses on the risks faced by companies with links to Xinjiang, will help to ensure that no British organisation—Government or private sector, deliberately or inadvertently—profits from or contributes to human rights violations against the Uyghurs or other minorities.

We have also consistently taken a leading international role in holding China to account, and we have used our diplomatic influence to raise the issue up the international agenda. On 22 June, a global UK diplomatic effort helped to deliver the support of 44 countries for a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council. That underlined our shared concerns and called on China to grant unfettered access to the region for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The growing caucus of countries expressing concern about the situation in Xinjiang sends a powerful message about the breadth of international opinion. That caucus of international countries, which has called out China’s actions, has grown from 23 countries to 44 in just over a year, which is a tribute to it. I pay tribute to the UK’s diplomatic leadership, including our network across the globe, and the Foreign Secretary’s influence with his counterparts. Under our G7 presidency, both G7 leaders and Foreign and Development Ministers registered strong concern about the situation in Xinjiang. We will continue to work with partners across the world to build an international caucus of those willing to speak out against China’s human rights violations and to increase the pressure on China to change its behaviour.

I turn to some of the points raised by hon. and right hon. Members. My hon. Friend the Member for East Worthing and Shoreham, in his powerful and eloquent speech, made a very strong case. I thought he was a little unfair on one of my heroes, Sir Paul McCartney, when he sang at the opening of the London games, but he also raised the issue of sanctions, as did the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Afzal Khan) and others, including my hon. Friend the Member for Rother Valley (Alexander Stafford). It speaks volumes that, while we join the international community in sanctioning those responsible for human rights abuses, the Chinese Government sanction their critics. If Beijing wants to credibly rebut claims of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, it should allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights full access to verify the truth, a point the hon. Member for Aberavon (Stephen Kinnock) agreed with.

Iain Duncan Smith Portrait Sir Iain Duncan Smith
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am grateful to the Minister for giving way. I do not want to hold him up for very long because he is in the last part of this speech. With regard to slave labour chains and supply in Xinjiang, on two occasions in the last four weeks, the Prime Minister has, from the Dispatch Box, said that the UK Government have import controls on those who are suspected of being suppliers through that chain. I have asked a series of questions of both the Minister’s Department and the Department for International Trade. The one answer that comes from the Department for International Trade is that it has no import controls and no plans to make any. Could the Minister tell me what Government policy is on import controls?

--- Later in debate ---
Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
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We are making good progress. Our guidance to businesses is being updated. We have launched a regular programme of ministerial engagement with businesses and trade bodies, but my right hon. Friend will understand that much of this work is incredibly complex and requires the introduction of new legislation and co-ordination with our international partners.

My hon. Friend the Member for East Worthing and Shoreham, the hon. Member for Stockport (Navendu Mishra) and my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Sir Iain Duncan Smith) raised the issue of Tibet. We are deeply concerned at reports of coercive control, restrictions on freedom of religion or belief and labour transfer schemes in Tibet. We have drawn attention to the human rights situation there, including most recently in a ministerial statement at the UN Human Rights Council.

I am going to be timed out, I am afraid, Mr Deputy Speaker. I had a number of points to respond to. I thank all hon. Members. If I could just raise the point made by the hon. Member for Bath, who wondered whether we should go further and have a full boycott of the games. We are clear that the participation of the national team is a matter for the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association. She also mentioned amendments to IOC rule 50 forbidding athletes to protest. Again, that is a matter for the BOA and other national Olympic committees to agree.

Let me end by saying that no decisions have yet been made about ministerial travel to the Beijing winter Olympics. If there is a Division on the motion today, the Government will therefore abstain. However, our approach to China remains clear-eyed and rooted in our values and our interests.

Government Hospitality Wine Cellar Biannual Report 2018 - 2020

Nigel Adams Excerpts
Thursday 15th July 2021

(2 years, 10 months ago)

Written Statements
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Nigel Adams Portrait The Minister for Asia (Nigel Adams)
- Hansard - -

I have today placed a copy of the Government hospitality wine cellar biannual report for the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20 in the Libraries of both Houses.

Following the outcome of the review of the Government hospitality wine cellar in 2011, this biannual report continues our commitment to reporting to Parliament on the use of the wine cellar, covering consumption, stock purchases, costs, and value for money. The wine cellar has been self-funding since 2011-12, through the sale of some high-value stock and payments made by other Government Departments for events organised by Government hospitality.

The report notes that in 2018-19:

The highest consumption level by volume was again of English and Welsh wine, at 53% of the total (cf. 57% in 17-18);

Purchases amounted to £46,906 (ex-VAT), a decrease of nearly 18% by value cf. £56,976 in 17-18;

The highest volume of purchases was of English and Welsh wines at 49% of the total;

Consumption by volume increased by some 2.8% in FY 2018-19;

Sales of stock amounted to £44,200 (cf. £50,600 in FY 17-18);

Further funds from other Government Departments added £16,985 to the overall receipts (cf. £26,494 in 17-18).

The report notes that in 2019-20:

The highest consumption level by volume was again of English wines, at 56% of the total;

Consumption by volume fell overall by 17.5% in FY 2019-20;

The highest volume of purchases was of English or Welsh wines at 73% of the total;

No sales were achieved due to the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, but funds recovered from other Government Departments added £23,220 to the overall receipts;

Purchases amounted to £73,091, due to major purchases of English still and sparkling wines.

[HCWS179]

Draft European Union and European Atomic Energy Community (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2021

Nigel Adams Excerpts
Monday 12th July 2021

(2 years, 10 months ago)

General Committees
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None Portrait The Chair
- Hansard -

Before we begin, I remind Members to observe social distancing and to sit only in the places clearly marked. I also remind Members that Mr Speaker has stated that masks should still be worn in Committee, unless speaking. Hansard will be most grateful if Members could send their speaking notes by email to hansardnotes@ parliament.uk.

Nigel Adams Portrait The Minister for Asia (Nigel Adams)
- Hansard - -

I beg to move,

That the Committee has considered the draft European Union and European Atomic Energy Community (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2021.

It is a pleasure to appear under your chairmanship, Mr Hosie.

The purpose of the draft order is to implement the agreement we have reached with the European Union that gives the EU delegation to the UK, and its staff, privileges and immunities. It is customary to grant such privileges and immunities to diplomatic missions and international organisations to enable them to function. The agreement is broadly in line with global practice, but includes important provisions to ensure that immunities and privileges do not impede the proper administration of justice.

Before I go through the draft order in further detail, please allow me to set out the policy context. As right hon. and hon. Members know, the United Kingdom left the EU last year on 31 January, after which the EU opened a delegation to the UK. That delegation replaced the European Commission representation and is responsible for representing the interests of the EU and co-ordinating among the 27 EU member states. This Government are clear that we want a relationship with the European Union based on friendly co-operation. The delegation plays an important role in that regard, including on the implementation of the trade and co-operation agreement.

Let me now turn to the details of the draft order. The order treats the EU delegation in broadly similar terms to those offered by other non-EU Governments globally. There are also important provisions to ensure that the immunities and privileges do not impede the proper administration of justice. The order categorises staff at the EU delegation as either “diplomatic agents” or “staff members”, and contains provisions regarding their family members.

EU staff who have been notified to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office as diplomatic agents would be immune from civil, criminal and administrative jurisdiction in the United Kingdom. That includes all enforcement measures. The person of a diplomatic agent would be inviolable in respect of their official acts. That means that the diplomatic agent cannot be arrested or detained for actions carried out as part of their duties. Their residence, baggage, official papers and documents would also be inviolable.

For staff members, the draft order will accord immunity from the criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction of the UK only in respect of their official acts. Staff members also receive inviolability of their official papers and documents, and inviolability of the person, only in respect of their official acts.

Furthermore, the draft order provides certain fiscal exemptions for the delegation and its staff. Those include exemptions from direct taxes on assets, property, income and the delegation’s operations. There is also an exemption from paying council tax.

Finally, the draft order sets out the provisions to allow the UK to request that those immunities and privileges be waived in certain circumstances. For both diplomatic agents and staff members, there is a complete carve-out from immunity and inviolability in respect of any alleged road traffic accidents and offences.

To conclude, the draft order implements the agreement that the UK has reached with the EU regarding its delegation in London, in line with global practice. It enables the delegation to conduct its activities in the UK, while ensuring and upholding protections for the effective administration of justice. The European Union delegation plays an important role in the UK-EU relationship, supporting a partnership based on friendly co-operation. I welcome the opportunity to hear Members’ views on the order and I commend it to the Committee.

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Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
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I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his support for the order. It is absolutely appropriate that we crack on and put it in place. As I set out in my opening speech, the EU delegation plays an important role in the relationship between the UK and the European Union. We are committed to relationships with the EU based on friendly co-operation, and that is exactly how we intend to proceed.

The order confers on the EU delegation the immunities and privileges that are necessary for the delegation to function effectively and conduct its activities in the UK. As I said in my opening remarks, that is in line with global practice and, importantly, the order ensures and upholds protections for the effective administration of justice. We expect those who enjoy immunities and privileges in the UK to comply with our laws, however, and we take a firm line with those who do not. The obligation to respect UK law is set out in the establishment agreement and is binding as a matter of international law. Staff members do not have immunity beyond official acts, other than those persons notified to us as diplomatic agents.

The hon. Gentleman raised a question about Scotland. We understand that the Scottish Government intend to lay their order in August, with the expectation that it will be sent to the Privy Council in October. We have notified the European Union of that.

The hon. Gentleman also wanted to know when the order would come into force. The agreement will be signed by both the United Kingdom and the European Union on 21 July, and will come into force on the day after, so he was right in his assumptions.

The hon. Gentleman mentioned the delay in reaching the agreement. We have always been clear that the EU delegation and its staff would receive the immunities and privileges that they need to carry out their roles effectively. The negotiations involve a range of complex issues that take time. I am pleased that we have reached an agreement with the EU that gives the delegation its privileges and immunities, which, I reiterate, are in line with global practice. I also make it clear to the Committee that the order includes important provisions to ensure that immunities and privileges do not impede the proper administration of justice.

Question put and agreed to.

Covid-19 Vaccines: Nepal

Nigel Adams Excerpts
Tuesday 6th July 2021

(2 years, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Nigel Adams Portrait The Minister for Asia (Nigel Adams)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

I am incredibly grateful to the hon. Member for Ealing, Southall (Mr Sharma) for securing the debate. I am sure everyone in the House will pay tribute to his work as chair of the Nepal all-party parliamentary group. It is absolutely right to debate vaccine access as Nepal recovers from a devastating second wave of covid-19. It is vital that the country has a clear route to a comprehensive vaccine programme.

As the hon. Gentleman knows, the United Kingdom and Nepal share a very deep relationship that has lasted over two centuries. In fact, Nepal’s first formal diplomatic relationship was established with us in 1816 and Nepal has held a special place in our hearts ever since, not least through the distinguished service of Gurkhas in the British Army and the bravery and excellence of its Sherpas who have inspired thousands of British mountaineers over the decades, as well as through the kindness and warmth of its people and because of its spectacular natural beauty.

In May, the delta variant of covid-19 spread to Nepal and quickly took hold in a devastating second wave of infections. As the hon. Member said, that overwhelmed Nepal’s healthcare system, and the people of Nepal have suffered immensely. I speak for the United Kingdom Government in offering my deepest condolences to the people of Nepal for the hardships they have endured in recent months.

Jim Shannon Portrait Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the hon. Member for Ealing, Southall (Mr Sharma) for introducing this debate. I really appreciated his significant contribution. It is also a pleasure to see the Minister in his place.

Recently, in my role as chair of the all-party parliamentary group for international freedom of religion or belief, I had the privilege of a productive meeting with His Excellency Mr Lokdarshan Regmi, the new Nepalese high commissioner in the UK, at which he shared the details of the extremely difficult situation that Nepal faces with regards to the covid-19 pandemic. What help can this Government in the United Kingdom give in particular to Nepal’s Christians, Muslims and other religious minorities who are not getting help or getting the vaccine?

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
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I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. He is right to mention his interaction with his excellency. We have used existing programmes to support Nepal since the second wave. We have fielded our own experts to help Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population with epidemiological analysis and data, we have financed two covid treatment centres in hotspots in Pokhara and Bhaktapur, and we have provided local governments in those hotspots with medical equipment such as personal protective equipment, oxygen concentrators and ventilators, and much more. I will come to that in my speech.

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
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I am not sure that I had advance notice of the hon. Lady’s intervention, but I am happy to take it.

Seema Malhotra Portrait Seema Malhotra
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the Minister for giving way. I am sure he will appreciate our concern over the stories of what is going on in Nepal. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has said that the UK stands “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Nepal, but many of my constituents—including our first Gurkha Nepalese Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Bishnu Gurung—are deeply concerned that what is being provided to Nepal is not nearly enough, and not nearly fast enough for the situation. An estimated 63 retired Gurkha soldiers who served in the British Army have died of covid-19 in Nepalese villages. Following the powerful speech by my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Southall (Mr Sharma), what more can the Minister say to give confidence to our constituents that enough is being done practically on the ground and in relation to vaccines to support the situation in Nepal?

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
- Hansard - -

I thank the hon. Lady. She is absolutely right to speak up for the Nepalese diaspora in her constituency and elsewhere. What I can add to my response to the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon) is that the United Kingdom is stepping up. We were first out of the blocks delivering equipment, for example, to India when the second wave hit in India. Of course, whatever we do will never be enough. It is a really, really challenging situation—the hon. Lady will appreciate that—but 269 ventilator machines have been donated, and thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment. We are constructing an oxygen plant in Kathmandu, with an additional plant in Pokhara; that will be completed by August. We are stepping up. We are also working with the Gurkha Welfare Trust to help those Gurkhas who have served this country so brilliantly. Through the UK-funded welfare trust, we are ensuring that lifesaving support and supplies to Gurkha veterans and communities are getting through. That includes three medical clinics and subsidised hospital treatment.

I understand that, as of last week, just 8.8% of Nepal’s population have received a first vaccine dose and 2.6% have received both doses. I understand that some will accuse us of failing Nepal in its time of need. I can tell hon. Members that nothing could be farther from the truth. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the UK Government have reprioritised over £40 million of foreign aid through the British embassy in Kathmandu to help Nepal respond to the challenges of covid-19, and at each phase of the pandemic, as it changes and as waves come along, we have tailored our support to Nepal’s needs

Navendu Mishra Portrait Navendu Mishra (Stockport) (Lab)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the Minister for giving way; in my experience I have always found him open to dialogue. I congratulate my good friend, my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Southall (Mr Sharma). The Minister was right to point out, early in his speech, that the UK and Nepal have a long relationship, going back over 200 years, and the Nepali community in Britain makes a significant positive contribution to this country. I appreciate that the Minister is aware of the problems of COVAX, particularly when it comes to the delivery of vaccines. India and South Africa made a proposal at the World Trade Organisation regarding a trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights—TRIPS—waiver, that would have facilitated the provision of covid vaccines, medicines and equipment to low and middle-income countries, which unfortunately the British Government blocked. I notice that the Biden Administration have changed their position and are now supporting that TRIPS waiver. Does the Minister agree that the UK Government should also amend their position on such a waiver, to help countries such as India, Nepal and so many others?

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
- Hansard - -

I can tell the hon. Gentleman that we are of course acutely aware of the challenge, whether that is getting first or, in the 1.4 million cases scenario, second doses. We have supported the Government of Nepal in liaising with and approaching the secretariat about the issue. As he knows, because it was announced recently, the majority of our over 100 million shared doses will go through the COVAX facility. That will help lower and middle-income countries enormously; that roll-out has now begun. Of course we are working constantly with Governments who are in need of those vaccines.

If I may get back to Nepal, we have targeted our support at the immediate health response and at the economic consequences of lockdowns, which we are acutely aware of in our own country. We have funded water sanitation and hygiene facilities for 400,000 people, safe spaces for women in isolation centres, cash and voucher assistance for the most vulnerable, and nutritional support for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

In response to the second wave of covid in Nepal, we have provided additional medical support through our embassy in Kathmandu. We have funded experts to support the federal Government response. We have helped to establish temporary treatment centres in hotspots and, as I said to the hon. Member for Feltham and Heston (Seema Malhotra), we constructed an oxygen plant in Kathmandu, with another one coming in Pokhara next month. We have delivered medical equipment and PPE to local governments in the worst affected areas. That has included providing oxygen concentrators and ventilators for hospitals in Banke and Mugu. Throughout the pandemic, the Gurkha Welfare Trust—I referred to that in response to the hon. Member for Strangford—has been UK funded, and we have also ensured access to life-saving support and supplies to veterans and their communities.

In May, my colleague, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, who is Minister for South Asia and responsible for the Nepalese portfolio, spoke to Mr Gyawali, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss what further support the UK could provide. In response to that conversation, a military flight from Brize Norton arrived in Kathmandu a week later. It carried 260 ventilators and many thousands of pieces of PPE. Make no mistake, Mr Deputy Speaker, those pieces of equipment and that assistance are saving lives in Nepal as I speak. I recognise, however, that medical supplies are only part of the solution. Vaccines are also crucial—that point has been raised in the other place on several occasions by Lord Lancaster, who takes a keen interest in Nepal.

We are playing a leading role in ensuring equitable access to vaccines for countries such as Nepal. The COVAX initiative sits at the centre of that effort, and the United Kingdom was integral to building COVAX from scratch. Our early commitment of more than £548 million, which in turn leveraged $1 billion of funding from other donors, allowed COVAX to arrange supply deals with vaccine manufacturers. Despite supply challenges, COVAX has started to make significant progress in delivering vaccines around the world, with almost 348,000 doses already delivered to Nepal, and another tranche on the way in the next few weeks.

Ninety-six per cent. of vaccines distributed by COVAX to date have been the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, including in Nepal. Clearly, the United Kingdom was crucial to the development of that vaccine. We provided £90 million to support the initial research and development, and the subsequent manufacturing required to produce the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. What is more, we made clear that, as part of that funding, the vaccine should be affordable around the world. In total, more than 0.5 billion doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have already been delivered at a non-profit price globally, with two thirds going to lower and middle-income countries.

With United Kingdom support, a global licensing deal was also struck to transfer AstraZeneca’s technology to other manufacturers and establish 20 supply chains across the world, taking it to even more people. We have also been at the forefront of efforts around the world to boost confidence in covid-19 vaccines. Unfortunately, misinformation about vaccines—which can spread quickly, as we all know, on social media, with no respect for borders—has the potential to undermine trust and confidence in vaccines, which, ultimately and sadly, can cost lives. At the G7 global vaccine summit earlier this month, the UK Government and Google Cloud announced that they would work with some of the world’s leading tech companies on new digital solutions to tackle misinformation around vaccines.

Furthermore, the United Kingdom has supported the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to provide special finance to Nepal to tackle the consequences of covid-19, including to purchase those vaccines. The World Bank has already released $75 million and the Asian Development Bank will shortly agree an additional $165 million financing deal with the Government of Nepal. The United Kingdom supported these contributions as a shareholder in both those banks. With that finance and COVAX allocations, the Government in Nepal will be able to vaccinate seven out of every 10 Nepalis when, clearly, supplies allow.

We have also used our presidency of the G7 to spear- head a commitment from G7 members to share 1 billion vaccine doses by June 2022. At least 100 million of those vaccines will come from the United Kingdom. As the House knows, the majority of our shared doses will go to COVAX. I am sure that the hon. Member for Ealing, Southall will understand that we are not yet able to announce the detailed allocations of those, but we will endeavour to share with him and the House that information regarding the distribution as soon as possible.

Let me emphasise that the United Kingdom remains committed to supporting Nepal’s development and recovery from covid-19, and I hope that some of the measures that I have outlined in answer to hon. Members’ interventions put some clarity on what we have actually delivered for the people of Nepal. As I said, we have reprioritised over £40 million of foreign aid to help Nepal respond to this awful pandemic. We sent scores of life-saving equipment to help Nepal respond to the country’s second wave and we have played a leading role in establishing COVAX and ensuring access to vaccines for Nepal—and not just Nepal, but all developing countries.

Question put and agreed to.

Detention of Jagtar Singh Johal

Nigel Adams Excerpts
Wednesday 30th June 2021

(2 years, 11 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Westminster Hall is an alternative Chamber for MPs to hold debates, named after the adjoining Westminster Hall.

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Nigel Adams Portrait The Minister for Asia (Nigel Adams)
- Hansard - -

As ever, it is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone. I thank all right hon. and hon. Members for taking part in this very important debate, and the hon. Member for West Dunbartonshire (Martin Docherty-Hughes) for securing it. I pay tribute to him for his tenacious support for his constituent Mr Johal since his arrest in India. I am also grateful for the contributions of all right hon. and hon. Members who have been in contact with the Foreign Office, either in writing or through formats such as this, and I will try to respond to the points raised in my remarks.

Before coming to Mr Johal’s specific case, I will set out our consular policy in general terms. Clearly, consular assistance is central to our work at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year our staff endeavour to give advice and practical support to all British nationals overseas and their families here in the UK. We aim to treat every consular case with equal importance and tailor our help to the individual circumstances of each person who is in need of our support, in normal times and in times of crisis. For example, from March to July 2020, the then Foreign and Commonwealth Office ran a repatriation operation unprecedented in the post-war era. We were proud to be able to return 38,000 people on 186 charter flights from 57 countries and territories back to the UK, as well as enabling 1.3 million British nationals to return via commercial routes.

The Government do not have, and have never had, a legal duty of care to British nationals abroad, because our ability to provide consular assistance is always dependent on other states adhering to the Vienna convention on consular relations and the laws of that host country. Consequently, a right to consular assistance in English law would not help those caught up in complex consular cases. In a similar vein, the FCDO does not seek preferential treatment for British nationals. We do not and, as we have heard from several hon. Members, must not interfere in civil and criminal court proceedings. It is absolutely right that we respect the legal systems of other countries, just as we expect foreign nationals to respect our laws when they are in the United Kingdom.

Our policy in respect of how to engage on complex detention cases, such as that of Mr Johal, is clear: the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office makes no judgment on the innocence or guilt of any British national who is detained overseas. Our priority is always the welfare of the UK national concerned. We look to ensure that they are receiving food, water and medical treatment, and that they have access to legal advice. With their permission, we can raise concerns about mistreatment or torture with the prison authorities, and request an independent investigation into any such allegations.

We will always consider making representations to the local authorities if detainees are not treated in line with internationally accepted standards, including if trials are unreasonably delayed compared with local cases, and as the hon. Member for West Dunbartonshire will know, we have provided Mr Johal and his family with extensive consular support since his arrest in 2017. We will continue to do so until this case has been resolved. That resolution must include an independent investigation into Mr Johal’s allegations of torture and mistreatment, and the transparent progress of judicial proceedings against him.

Matt Western Portrait Matt Western
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Has the specific allegation that was raised by one of our colleagues, the pouring of petrol in Mr Johal’s cell, been specifically raised with the Indian authorities by anyone in the Foreign Office?

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
- Hansard - -

What I can tell the hon. Gentleman is that we have consistently raised the need for an independent and impartial investigation into those torture allegations. The Foreign Secretary himself most recently highlighted this to Indian Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar on 6 May, and we have made many representations in this case. Officials or Ministers have raised Mr Johal’s case on almost 70 occasions.

I appreciate, however, that there are calls for the British Government to do more in Mr Johal’s case. I would therefore like to reassure the House that ever since his arrest in India in 2017, our staff have worked hard to provide effective assistance to Mr Johal and his family in the UK. We take these allegations about torture and mistreatment incredibly seriously. The allegations go back to 2017 and were made again in January this year. There are causes for concern in Mr Johal’s case, and we also share right hon. and hon. Members’ deep concern about the continued delays in the legal proceedings against Mr Johal.

Alistair Carmichael Portrait Mr Carmichael
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I accept everything that the Minister has said about interventions with regard to the Indian criminal justice system. That is why the point about arbitrary detention is so important, because as the spokesperson for the official Opposition, the hon. Member for Aberavon (Stephen Kinnock), and the hon. Member for West Dunbartonshire (Martin Docherty-Hughes) have both said, in the event that that is the view of the Government, they have a duty to intervene. Is that the view of the Government, and if it is, why have they not intervened? If it is not, what points of distinction would they make?

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Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
- Hansard - -

The Government take all allegations of human rights violations extremely seriously, and we raise concerns with the authorities on the ground where appropriate. The assistance we provide is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and it entirely depends on the circumstances of the case. It is for this reason that we have persistently advocated for Mr Johal’s welfare. We have raised his case regularly at the highest levels and with the Indian Government.

Kirsten Oswald Portrait Kirsten Oswald
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Will the Minister give way?

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
- Hansard - -

I will take one more intervention. I am just conscious that I am supposed to finish in three minutes’ time, but I think there is no chance of that now.

Kirsten Oswald Portrait Kirsten Oswald
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am very grateful to the Minister for taking my intervention. May I go back to the point that has just been made? He was asked whether the UK Government accept that this is an arbitrary detention. If not, what is it about the situation that they do not agree with? That is what we need to hear from the Minister.

Nigel Adams Portrait Nigel Adams
- Hansard - -

As I said, the action we take in a consular case in relation to allegations of arbitrary detention is tailored to individual circumstances and situations, and what we judge to be the most effective in each case. Although the FCDO cannot investigate allegations of human rights abuses overseas, we have carefully considered all available information on the arbitrary detention allegations, including the Reprieve determination. We will continue to raise concerns regarding human rights directly with the Indian authority as we judge them to be effective and appropriate in Mr Johal’s case.

If I may, in the couple of minutes that I have left, I will move on. We have persistently advocated for Mr Johal’s welfare. We have raised his torture allegations and his right to a fair trial with the Government of India on more than 70 occasions since his arrest. Most recently, the Foreign Secretary raised the case with the Indian Minister of External Affairs on 6 May, and Lord Ahmad, the Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth, with the high commissioner on 8 June. The previous Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and the International Trade Secretary have all raised Mr Johal’s case at appropriate opportunities during his detention. I further assure right hon. and hon. Members that we have thoroughly considered concerns regarding arbitrary detention and the death penalty in this case.

The Government take all allegations of violations of human rights seriously. We raise them with the local authorities where appropriate. We also cover welfare issues. In Mr Johal’s case, in-person visits to prisons in India, which hon. Members referred to, are restricted due to the pandemic, but we have replaced them with phone calls. We most recently spoke to Mr Johal on 11 May. We will continue to pursue regular welfare visits with the authorities for as long as he remains in prison. We appreciate that his family have suffered considerable distress throughout his detention. The high commissioner to India most recently met Mr Johal’s brother Gurpreet on 30 April.

A question was raised about trade and human rights. It is clear that the relationship with India is important and is based on trust and collaboration. It is important that human rights and complex consular cases form part of our dialogue. As such, the 2030 road map for India-UK future relations, agreed in April by our two Prime Ministers, includes a commitment to promote closer co-operation in consular matters and to resolve long-running or complex consular cases.

I recognise that this remains an extremely difficult time for Mr Johal and his family. I assure the hon. Member for West Dunbartonshire, to whom I will now give the Floor, and Mr Johal’s family that we will continue to do all that we can to support Mr Johal and to ensure that he is treated in accordance with Indian and international law. His case remains a priority for the UK Government, and it must be resolved in line with due process and without unreasonable delay.