Many constituents have contacted me to share their concerns about the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill. Read the response I shared with constituents below.
Thank you for contacting me about the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill, which would prohibit public bodies from engaging in boycott, divestment, or sanctions (BDS).
This Bill is a dreadful piece of legislation with far reaching and damaging consequences. I strongly oppose this legislation and voted for Labour’s reasoned amendment to stop the Bill. Unfortunately, our reasoned amendment was unsuccessful.
I voted against the Bill at Third Reading, but Conservative votes enabled the Bill to pass.
This ill-thought-out and poorly drafted legislation risks further inflaming tensions and creating fresh legal disputes. It includes needlessly broad and sweeping draconian powers and far-reaching effects, which will only serve as flashpoints for community tension. The wording of the Bill not only calls into question the UK’s long-standing position in supporting a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine, but also runs counter to UN resolutions and international law.
The Bill also applies as much to China, Myanmar, and North Korea, as it does to Israel. This could, for example, have significant effects on the ability of communities to support the Uyghur minority in China.
Labour wants public bodies to be able to take ethical decisions, consistent with their investment and procurement policy, within a framework based on principles that are applied equally to all countries rather than by singling out individual nations.
I am very disappointed that Conservative MPs pushed this deeply flawed Bill through. I will follow its progression in the House of Lords closely.
Thank you once again for contacting me about this issue.
Rachel Hopkins MP