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Volume 986: debated on Monday 16 June 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make representations to the Government of Zimbabwe in order to ensure that no unfair restrictions are placed on citizens of the United Kingdom seeking to remove themselves and their assets to the United Kingdom.

There is no restriction on the emigration of United Kingdom citizens from Zimbabwe. The question of exchange control restrictions applied to the funds of British citizens—and companies—in Zimbabwe has been raised on a number of occasions with the Zimbabwe authorities who have assured us that exchange control restrictions are currently under review.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish an estimate of the total assets owned by Her Majesty's Government, by United Kingdom companies and by British citizens in Zimbabwe.

No such estimate is available. It is believed that the total funds of United Kingdom individuals and companies held in blocked accounts in Zimbabwe amounts to about £100 million.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what arrangements have been made to unblock the funds of British residents, held in Zimbabwe, who now live in the United Kingdom.

We have drawn the attention of the Zimbabwean authorities to the public concern in this country over the question of funds belonging to United Kingdom residents which remain blocked in Zimbabwe. They have assured us that they will wish to provide for an easing of present restrictions on remittances of such assets as soon as their financial circumstances permit.