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Trade: Jurisdiction

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent representations he has received from UK business trade and industry representatives on US extraterritorial jurisdiction and intervention; and if he will make a statement. (225944)

The Department periodically receives representations from businesses, business representatives and individuals usually, but not exclusively, in respect of US trade sanctions against Cuba.

The Government are opposed to excessive assertions of extraterritorial legislation and jurisdiction and frequently makes their views known in contacts with the US.

We have made our opposition to US policy clear through our vote every year against the US embargo on Cuba at the United Nations General Assembly, most recently on 30 October 2007, and UK officials raised the issue again with US officials in Washington in May. The UK and the US agree that though they share the same policy aim, peaceful transition to pluralist democracy, they differ on how to achieve that aim. The US favours isolation of Cuba, while the EU prefers constructive engagement and dialogue.