Eastwood rejects Tory 'Anti-Boycott' Bill

palestine colum eastwood

SDLP Leader and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood voted against the British Government's Economic Activity and Public Bodies Bill in Westminster on Monday and called for the Bill to be scrapped.

Mr Eastwood said:

"This Bill is another Conservative power-grab against local councils and public bodies who wish to take moral stances when it comes to procurement and investment decisions.

"More than 70 organisations, including Friends of the Earth, Green Peace, and Liberty, argued that the legislation would threaten a range of campaigns and attempts to invest and trade ethically. Importantly, it would remove Derry City and Strabane District Council's right to stand up for oppressed people.

"The people of Derry have immense sympathy with the Palestinian people, and our local council frequently takes stances and actions in solidarity with them, including boycotts against Israeli-linked goods, services and companies. When I was on Derry City Council, I along with others, brought forward a successful motion that the council would boycott Israeli goods in solidarity with the people of Palestine. No Tory government will deter Derry from supporting the Palestinian people and other oppressed people worldwide.

"This Bill will remove freedom of speech and non-violent protest when it comes to holding other countries, especially regimes who oppress LGBT communities and other minorities, to account. The British government cannot give carte blanche to regimes with heinous human rights records and this legislation must be scrapped.

"The SDLP will continue to stand with those oppressed for a fairer, more compassionate world."

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