HC Deb 11 March 1992 vol 205 cc833-4
1. Mr. Ron Brown

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about trade with Libya.

The Minister for Trade (Mr. Tim Sainsbury)

United Kingdom exports to Libya have been about £250 million annually. Imports have been just over £100 million.

Mr. Brown

Does not the Minister understand one thing? During my recent visit to Libya with George More, a top Scots lawyer, the British community told us that it does not want sanctions or reprisals against the Libyan regime. Whatever the problems about Lockerbie, surely the matter can be discussed sensibly around the table? That has not happened. What are the British Government doing to resolve that question? It should be remembered that trade with Libya is important. It is important for jobs as well.

Mr. Sainsbury

Does not the hon. Gentleman understand that, in spite of his apparent admiration for Colonel Gaddafi and his regime, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 731 and called on Libya to respond positively and effectively to the demands made by the United Kingdom, France and the United States? It has not responded and further action may be required.

Mr. Bill Walker

When my right hon. Friend is dealing with trade with Libya, will he bear it in mind that the United Kingdom is happy and willing to trade anywhere in the world, because that is important to us as a trading nation, but we must never sacrifice our values and standards, particularly those concerning our attitude towards international terrorism? We must make that clear to any country with which we deal, including Libya.

Mr. Sainsbury

As always, my hon. Friend puts his point clearly and effectively. I am sure that the House—at least, I hope that the House—will join in condemning international terrorism, particularly when it is state inspired.

Mr. Kilfedder

Has Colonel Gaddafi yet given Her Majesty's Government a detailed list of all the guns, ammunition and Semtex explosives which Libya supplied to the Provisional IRA, much of which has already been used to kill and mutilate British citizens?

Mr. Sainsbury

The hon. Gentleman makes a valid point about the regime which the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Brown) appears to admire. I am not aware that any such list has been provided.