Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill — 3 Jul 2023 at 21:27

“ban public bodies from imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries.”
“maintain Israel’s character as a colonial, ethnocentric, apartheid state.”
“one-state solution…where, by definition, Jews will be a minority.”
“A Jewish state in Palestine in any shape or form cannot but contravene the basic rights of the…Palestinian population and…ought to be opposed categorically”.
“although anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian campaigning in itself is”,
“not anti-Semitic, there is a pattern of anti-Semitic behaviour in connection with campaigns promoting a boycott of Israel. For example, protests outside an Israeli-owned shop in central Manchester in summer 2014 led to some Jewish people using the shop being racially abused by protestors, including shoppers”-
“being called ‘Child killer’, comments such as ‘You Jews are scum and the whole world hates you’, and Nazi salutes being made at Jewish shoppers using the Israeli-owned store. On social media, hashtags such as #BDS, #BoycottIsrael and #FreePalestine are regularly used by people posting anti-Semitic tweets and comments.”
“BDS damages communal relations and fosters antisemitism at home, while doing nothing to further the cause of peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. Public bodies should not be singling out the world’s only Jewish state for boycotts.”
“welcome the Government’s proposed bill to end the ability of public sector bodies to carry out boycotts and divestment.”
“because it deepens the divisions in the Middle East conflict rather than encouraging dialogue and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. BDS demonises and delegitimises Israel”.
“would intend to act in such a way”-
“were it lawful to do so”,
“influenced by political or moral disapproval of foreign state conduct”,
“this House, while opposing any discrimination or prejudice in the economic activities of public bodies, believing that all such bodies must act without bias or selectivity when making ethical decisions on procurement and investment and recognising the impact selective and biased campaigns have had on the Jewish community in particular, declines to give a Second Reading to the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill, because the Bill risks significantly undermining support for groups around the world facing persecution, for example the Uyghur, who are currently victims of grave and systemic human rights abuses, is incompatible with international law and the due diligence of public bodies, undermines the UK’s long-standing cross-party position in respect of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Golan Heights by conflating these with the State of Israel and running counter to UN Security Council Resolutions, singles out the State of Israel in effect creating the issue it intends to solve, seeks to enforce its provisions by giving unprecedented powers to the Secretary of State beyond those enjoyed by the police and the security services, places unprecedented restrictions on the ability of public bodies, many of them directly elected, to express a view on policy, current, proposed and desired, has potential widespread and negative impacts on local government pension funds, limits freedom of speech and is likely to be subject to repeated and extended legal challenge by reason of its conflict with established legal principles; and therefore urges the Government to bring forward alternative proposals.”
“political or moral disapproval of foreign state conduct.”
“where an analyst has anticipated that a company’s value will decrease because of ESG decisions it has made… if that strategy falls within the new law’s definition of not being in line with UK foreign defence policy, and the law therefore states that the fund must remain invested, and the fund therefore loses value, who will pay for that?... The government’s current message is that ‘this is not designed to get in the way of ESG factors, excepting the very narrow area of UK foreign or defence policy’. But this is absolutely not a very narrow area.”
“We could end up in a scenario with never ending arguments involving ESG factors versus foreign and defence policy.”
“between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”
“While we were physically denied our freedom in the country of our birth, a city, 6,000 miles away, and as renowned as Glasgow, refused to accept the legitimacy of the apartheid system, and declared us to be free.”
“make it almost impossible for public bodies to use their procurement and investment policies to incentivise ethical business conduct that is human rights compliant.”
“they are illegal under international law, present an obstacle to peace and…a two-state solution.”-[Official Report, 29 June 2023; Vol. 735, c. 408.]
“prevent public bodies from divesting from fossil fuel, as well as diverting their money away from inadvertently funding human rights abuses abroad”.
“The ‘don’t buy’ stickers of the BDS movement on Israeli products”
“the Nazi call ‘don’t buy from Jews’ and other corresponding graffiti…on shop windows”.
“Boycotting Israel is wrong but this anti BDS bill is not the answer…This is a bad bill…and bad especially for British Jews”.
“There is no room for shades of grey here. You either think it’s fine to boycott Jews-in which case you will oppose the Bill-or you don’t, in which case you will support it.”
“What is the favourite refrain of the antisemites? That Israel is the one country you’re not ‘allowed’ to criticise. This bill takes a canard and, in the case of boycotts, turns it into the law of the land.”
“being influenced by political or moral disapproval of foreign states when taking certain economic decisions”.
“clear risks related to economic…activities in the settlements, and we do not encourage or offer support to such activity… UK citizens and businesses should be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements, as well as possible abuses of the rights of individuals. Those contemplating any economic or financial involvement in settlements should seek appropriate legal advice.”
“our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.
“appalling antisemitic rhetoric and abuse”.
“public bodies from imposing their own direct or indirect …sanctions…against foreign countries.”
“bitterly ironic if this…bill”
“anti-Israel BDS, ends up hurting those who so many…have sought to help”.
“pit Jews against other minorities”.
“the country or territory of origin.”
“I disagree with those that demand boycotts, but I will fight for their right to express their views.”
“I oppose boycotts, but they should not be illegal.”
“turning freedom of speech into a civil injustice.”
“Using legislation to outlaw BDS will do nothing in the fight against antisemitism… We may disagree with the BDS movement-we may even think that there are some people who support the BDS movement who are motivated by antisemitism-but the tactics of boycott, divestment, and sanctions are non-violent and legitimate.”
“successive studies have shown the single best statistical predictor of anti-Jewish hostility is the amount of BDS activity”.-[Official Report, 22 February 2022; Vol. 709, c. 213.]
“the two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israel conflict is finally dead…the more just, moral and therefore enduring alternative...the one-state solution...where, by definition Jews will be a minority”.
“legislation prohibiting local authorities from taking steps to promote Palestinian self-determination within the OPT, taken with the terms of the exclusion in Clause 3(7), would likely place the United Kingdom in breach of international law obligations.”
“Anyone who thinks it is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud-cuckoo land”.
“relates specifically or mainly to a particular foreign territory”.
“in breach of international law obligations”
“effectively equates the Occupied Palestinian Territories with Israel itself and is very difficult to reconcile with the long-standing position of the United Kingdom which supports a ‘two-state solution’ based on ‘1967 lines’ in which the security and right to self-determination of both Israelis and Palestinians are protected.”
“When the call for international isolation of the forces of apartheid went out to the world, the people of Wales responded magnificently. The knowledge that local authorities all over Wales were banning apartheid products from canteens and schools…was a great inspiration to us in our struggle.”
“financial support, succour and legitimacy”

Debate in Parliament |

Party Summary

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.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Alba0 1050.0%
Alliance0 10100.0%
Con268 (+2 tell) 2075.6%
DUP4 0050.0%
Green0 10100.0%
Independent0 3060.0%
Lab0 153 (+2 tell)077.1%
LDem0 10071.4%
PC0 30100.0%
SDLP0 20100.0%
SNP0 35077.8%
Total:272 211075.9%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

NameConstituencyPartyVote
Crispin BluntReigateCon (front bench)aye
William WraggHazel GroveCon (front bench)aye

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