‘If we restrict it to countries with ECHR-level standards of human rights, we’re not going to do many trade deals’ – says now-Justice Secretary
Now-former – since yesterday – Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been exposed telling officials to ignore the human rights records of potential trading partners, in a leaked call.
Raab told his underlings that if the UK only looks at countries with human rights levels in accordance with the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights, they weren’t going to get many deals ‘with the growth markets of the future’:
Such countries are, of course, in many cases those with the worst human rights records as governments and armies torture, murder and oppress their way to riches.
Raab’s comments have been widely condemned by human rights organisations as shocking but not remotely surprising for a Tory minister. The Tories are desperate for deals to shore up their image, but would happily do such deals even in the absence of political urgency – and indeed are planning a crackdown on human rights in the UK through their Police, Crime and Sentencing bill – which they have admitted is racist but claim is justified – to impose draconian sentences on protesters and on Gypsy Roma Traveller people.
Since yesterday, Raab is now Justice Secretary. Bodes well for the human rights of people in this country, then.
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