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Sri Lanka: EU External Trade

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department’s policy is on the suspension of Sri Lanka’s GSP+ trade preference scheme status; and if he will make a statement. (318680)

The Department for International Development (DFID) fully supports the EU’s decision to remove GSP+ trade preferences from Sri Lanka. Failure to implement core human rights conventions in Sri Lanka is unacceptable and the European Commission’s report into these failures made the decision a straightforward one. I understand the importance of GSP+ to the Sri Lankan economy and I hope the EU’s decision will encourage the government to take necessary action to implement its human rights obligations under GSP+.

The Foreign Secretary released a written ministerial statement to Parliament on 23 February 2010, Official Report, columns 36-38WS, outlining recent developments in the political and humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka, including the UK position on GSP+.