UK parliament rejects amendment aimed at blocking China deals

UK government defeats 'genocide amendment' aimed at blocking China trade over Uighur assaults
2 min read
23 March, 2021
An amendment backed by rebel Conservative Party MPs and opposition lawmakers failed to pass through the UK parliament's lower chamber on Monday.
The 'genocide amendment' was defeated by 318 votes to 300 [Getty]

A bid by UK lawmakers to block trade deals with countries guilty of genocide was defeated in parliament on Monday evening.

The proposal, dubbed the 'genocide amendment', aimed to block trade with China, which is accused of committing genocide against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province.

Accusations of genocide would be overseen by a new parliamentary judicial committee, which would review allegations on a case-by-case basis.

The amendment to the government's Trade Bill was defeated by 318 votes to 300 in the House of Commons.

Former minister Ian Duncan Smith was among the group of some 29 Conservative Party rebels who backed the amendment.

He said the law would "send a message … that we simply won’t put up with this, we're not frightened of finding that this is genocide and we’re not frightened of saying it from the steeple-tops". 
Across the floor, Shadow international trade secretary Emily Thornberry appealed for MPs to "vote with their conscience".