Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill
Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill

I voted against the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill at its Third Reading and I was delighted that the Labour Party were able to block the Bill as the General Election was called.  It will therefore not pass into law and, as long as the Labour Party is elected, it will not be resurrected.

The Government’s proposed Bill was draconian, and I was particularly concerned that it would have given the Secretary of State unprecedented powers of enforcement, preventing public bodies from expressing objection to human rights violations unless the Government expressly permits it in their foreign policy. 

According to legal advice, the Bill is also likely to breach international law and will be incompatible with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and will limit the freedom of speech of individuals speaking on behalf of a public body. 

More widely, on ethical finance, I want to see the UK become the green finance capital of the world. I support calls to mandate UK-regulated financial institutions, including pension funds, to develop and implement credible transition plans that align with the goal of the Paris Agreement across their portfolios. This would ensure companies are not just reporting on compliance with the Paris Agreement but acting on it too, underscoring the opportunities that the green transition promises, while ensuring an orderly transition that does not leave people and communities behind.


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