Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.


04 JUL 2017

Israel and Palestine

Thank you for taking the time to email me about the debate being held on Israel and Palestine.

I understand your concerns about the ongoing issues in the area and I hope the following information on this topic from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is of interest:

The international community must redouble its efforts to support a comprehensive peace agreement that delivers an independent Palestine alongside a safe and secure Israel. A two-state solution brought about through agreement is the most effective way for Palestinian aspirations of statehood to be met.
Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal and an obstacle to peace. The Israeli Government is well aware of the UK position on settlements, which has not changed. British Ministers have repeatedly called on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law. They have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including settlements.
It is not believed that we should ban the importation of products that originate from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The advice issued by the Government to UK retailers and importers recommends that agricultural produce originating from Israeli settlements in the West Bank should bear an indication which makes this clear. Furthermore, the Occupied Territories are not covered by the current EU-Israel Association Agreement, which governs our trade with Israel. It is up to individual businesses whether they undertake business dealings with companies operating in the settlements.
The UK Government continues to press for an end to restrictions and for urgent measures to relieve the humanitarian suffering of those in Gaza. The Department for International Development is helping to build Palestinian institutions and promote economic growth, so that any future state will be prosperous and an effective partner for peace.

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