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Sheep And Lamb Exports

Volume 983: debated on Friday 25 April 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many British sheep and lambs were exported to Belgium, the Netherlands, West Germany and Spain during the last quarter of 1979 and the first quarter of 1980; and what proportion of these animals was then re-exported to France.

No information is available on the numbers of sheep and lambs of United Kingdom origin re-exported to France by other countries. The remaining information is as follows:—we have conducted a re-examination of British policy and practice concerning the recognition of Governments. This has included a comparison with the practice of our partners and allies. On the basis of this review we have decided that we shall no longer accord recognition to Governments.The British Government recognise States in accordance with common international doctrine.Where an unconstitutional change of regime takes place in a recognised State, Governments of other States must necessarily consider what dealings, if any, they should have with the new regime, and whether and to what extent it qualifies to be treated as the Government of the State concerned. Many of our partners and allies take the position that they do not recognise Governments and that therefore no question of recognition arises in such cases. By contrast, the policy of successive British Governments has been that we should make and announce a decision formally "recognising" the new Government.This practice has sometimes been misunderstood, and, despite explanations to the contrary, our " recognition " interpreted as implying approval. For example, in circumstances where there may be legitimate public concern about the violation of human rights by the new regime, or the manner in which it achieved power, it has not sufficed to say that an announcement of "recognition" is simply a neutral formality.We have therefore concluded that there are practical advantages in following the policy of many other countries in not according recognition to Governments. Like them, we shall continue to decide the nature of our dealings with regimes which come to power unconstitutionally in the light of our assessment of whether they are able of themselves to exercise effective control of the territory of the State concerned, and seem likely to continue to do so.