Skip to main content

Colombia: EU External Trade

Volume 501: debated on Thursday 26 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the status is of negotiations between the EU and Colombia on a free trade agreement; and if he will make a statement. (301570)

The European Commission is pushing forward with negotiations towards a Multi-Party Trade Agreement with Colombia on behalf of the EU. The UK is leading efforts within the EU to ensure that any agreement with Colombia is linked to a robust human rights clause. This clause will enable us to suspend the agreement if it is breached, and will act as a catalyst for frank dialogue with Colombia on the issue. We believe that free trade agreements can help to create the right circumstances for improved stability, where human rights stand a better chance of flourishing. Denying Colombia access to the economic opportunities presented by the Multi-Party Trade Agreement would undermine this prospect.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent progress has been made on his Department's work with the European Commission on the negotiation of a free trade agreement with Colombia. (301894)

The European Commission is pushing forward with negotiations towards a Multi-Party Trade Agreement with Colombia on behalf of the EU. The UK is leading efforts within the EU to ensure that any agreement with Colombia is linked to a robust human rights clause. This clause will enable us to suspend the agreement if it is breached, and will act as a catalyst for frank dialogue with Colombia on this issue. We believe that free trade agreements can help to create the right circumstances for improved stability, where human rights stand a better chance of flourishing. Denying Colombia access to the economic opportunities presented by the Multi-Party Trade Agreement would undermine this prospect.