Trade Bill — After Clause 2 — Parliamentary Approval of International Trade Agreements and Treaties — Genocide — 9 Feb 2021 at 17:34
The majority of MPs voted for Parliamentary consideration of genocide by parties, or prospective parties, to trade agreements.
The amendments supported by the majority of MPs in this vote were:
- Amendments (a) and (b) proposed in lieu of Lords amendments 2B and 3B
Amendments (a) began:
- Insert the following Clause—
- “2A Free trade agreements and genocide
- (1) Subsection (2) applies if the responsible committee of the House of Commons publishes a report which—
- (a) states that there exist credible reports of genocide in the territory of a prospective FTA counter-party, and
- (b) confirms that, in preparing the report, the committee has taken such evidence as it considers appropriate.
- (2) If, after receiving a response from the Secretary of State, the committee publishes a report which—
- (a) includes a statement to the effect that the committee is not satisfied by the Secretary of State’s response, and
- (b) sets out the wording of a motion to be moved in the House of Commons in accordance with subsection (3), subsection (3) applies.
- (3) A Minister of the Crown must make arrangements for the motion mentioned in subsection (2)(b) to be debated and voted on by the House of Commons.
Notably the effect of the motion to be moved is not specified.
Amendment (b) stated:
- Title, line 1, leave out “the implementation of”
The long title of the Bill was:
"A Bill to make provision about the implementation of international trade agreements; to make provision establishing the Trade Remedies Authority and conferring functions on it; and to make provision about the collection and disclosure of information relating to trade."
Amendment (b) reflects the broadening scope of the Bill, and impact over the life of the trade agreement, introduced by amendment (a).
Lords amendments 2B and 3B provided for Parliament to consider genocide or crimes against humanity by parties, or prospective parties, to international trade agreements.
Amendment 2B provided for ministers to assess if prospective parties to trade agreements have committed crimes against humanity and to provide that assessment to Parliament prior to Parliament's consideration of the agreement. The amendment also provided for an annual report to Parliamentary committees on any crimes against humanity committed or alleged to have been committed by a party to a trade agreement.
Amendment 3B provided for a UK court to make a determination that a state which is party to a trade agreement with the United Kingdom has committed genocide. The amendment provided that such determinations would follow an application by an organisation representing a group subject to that genocide. The amendment provided for a debate in each House of Parliament following such a determination.
Amendment 2B covered crimes against humanity which has a broader scope than genocide.
Note this vote determined if amendments (a) and (b) were accepted or not. The amendments were moved in the context of the Lords amendments but the vote was not on a choice between them and the Lords amendments.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Trade Bill, Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes to the Trade Bill, 18 January 2021, Parliament.uk
-  Amendment paper for consideration of the Trade Bill, 9 February 2021, Parliament.uk
-  Amendment paper containing Lords Amendments, 3 February 2021, Parliament.uk
-  United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (Aye)||Minority (No)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||318 (+2 tell)||31||0||96.2%|
|Lab||0||194 (+2 tell)||0||98.0%|