UK and the UN
Representatives from UNA-UK joined state representatives, UN officials, NGOs and academics in Entebbe, Uganda to discuss atrocity prevention strategies and to find ways to strengthen mechanisms to prevent atrocities.
Evaluation of UK’s international obligations
The Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Yemen, Keith Vaz MP, has implored the Government to stand up and be counted on Yemen and specifically to help to protect Al Hudaydah port.
The British Government has been accused of “turning a blind eye” to the “diversion” of arms and ammunition legally supplied to Saudi Arabia but then passed on to third-party “proxy fighters” including terror groups.
The all-party Parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition led by Ken Clarke has called for a judge-led inquiry into UK complicity in rendition and torture.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
Theresa May has stated that the detailed plan in the White paper for Brexit will not be published until after the crucial EU summit later this month.
Former Cabinet ministers Amber Rudd and Iain Duncan Smith have joined forces to call on rebel Conservative MPs to back Theresa May on the Brexit bill or risk bringing down the Government, whilst William Hague has also argued in The Telegraph that Tory rebels need to fall into line.
Tory rebels are prepared to back a new amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill pledging the Government to reach a “customs arrangement” with Brussels enabling Theresa May to avoid a humiliating defeat on a key Brexit policy. Meanwhile leading Conservative pro-Europe rebel Dominic Grieve tabled an 11th-hour compromise amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, giving ministers until the end of November to get agreement on the final Brexit deal or requiring them to put forward a motion in the Commons setting out their proposed next steps.
However, Phillip Lee, Justice minister, resigned in protest at the Brexit policy and Keir Starmer has argued against Theresa May’s approach leading to a potential ‘no-deal disaster’, whilst in The Times, Agata Gostynska-Jakubowska has argued that when MPs vote on Tuesday they should stick to their guns and pass the Lords amendment.
The EU has spelt out why it rejected the UK’s Irish backstop plan, stating that its proposal remains the only workable solution.
In The Times, Rachel Sylvester has argued that there will eventually be an Iraq-style independent inquiry into the handling of Brexit that will be ‘damning about the incompetence, self-indulgence and failure of political accountability during this process’. Meanwhile the Institute for Government has published a report considering how ready Whitehall is for Brexit, in which it argues that the political decisions are creating a culture of secrecy.
Though potential Tory rebels in the end largely voted with the Government, against the Lords’ amendments, following last-minute concessions, they have warned Theresa May that she must stand by the assurances she gave or the Lords may bring a new amendment for rebels to back.
UNA-UK is hosting a ‘Global Britain Conference’ on 7th July 2018, discussing making changes in communities and campaigning on different areas of UNA-UK’s work.