HC Deb 19 February 1997 vol 290 c905
1. Mr. Dalyell

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received from British firms about the effect on British industry of sanctions against Libya. [15021]

The Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs (Mr. John M. Taylor)

We have had representations from various British firms involved in major projects and general trade with Libya, but they have not necessarily been directly related to the UN sanctions.

Mr. Dalyell

Will the Minister take advantage of the presence in London today of Madeleine Albright to raise with her the basic issue—the cause of all the trouble—the UN sanctions, in the light of the fact that James T. Thurman, the forensic expert, is now accused by his own colleagues of fabricating forensic evidence? Should we not talk to the Americans about this?

Mr. Taylor

The President of the Board of Trade has no plans to see the American Secretary of State in the immediate future but there are meetings with American diplomatic representatives from time to time. On the next occasion, the President will certainly bear in mind the points that the hon. Gentleman has made.

Mr. John Marshall

Does my hon. Friend agree that Gaddafi's regime is one of the most evil in the world, and has sought to destabilise the middle east and attack western democracies? Should not we deny it the means of prosperity and the means of our own destruction?

Mr. Taylor

I would certainly shortlist Gaddafi's regime as among the most wicked. As my hon. Friend knows, the United Kingdom has kept scrupulously to the United Nations position. The United Nations is not content with the American position, which goes further. We reject the United States' attempt to impose sanctions on its allies in respect of trade that is lawful in the eyes of the UN.