UK Labour politician urges ban on West Bank imports in warning against 'illegal' Israeli annexation

UK Labour politician urges ban on West Bank imports in warning against 'illegal' Israeli annexation
UK Labour shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy has pushed for a ban on the imports of goods from illegal settlements in the West Bank, should Israel proceed with annexations.
2 min read
28 June, 2020
Labour politician Lisa Nandy said Israel's "breach of international law must have consequences" [Getty]
UK Labour party shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy said imports of goods from illegal settlements in the West Bank must be banned by the UK if the Israeli government moves ahead with annexation plans, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

Despite international condemnation, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu said the Jewish state will "apply sovereignty" to up to 30 percent of the West Bank as early as Wednesday, according to the Guardian.

“This is now urgent," Nandy told the Observer. "The government must be clear with the Israeli coalition government that concrete action will follow, including a ban on goods entering Britain from the illegal settlements in the West Bank."

"This is a major step, but such a blatant breach of international law must have consequences," she added.

Nandy said Israel's annexations are "a shameful proposition" and criticised the UK government for being "conspicuously absent" from the global response.

Nandy's proposal was backed by Labour leader, Keir Starmer.

A growing opposition to Israel's annexation plans has been expressed across the UK's political parties.

Last week, hundreds of European MPs signed a letter against Israeli annexation of the West Bank. Though most of the UK signatories were left-leaning, former Conservative party members also added their names to the letter.

Also last week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank would “amount to a breach of international law".

Sir Vincent Fean, a former British consul-general to Jerusalem, has urged the UK government to recognise the states of Palestine and Israel on pre-1967 borders, according to the Guardian.

Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, who also formerly chaired the foreign affairs select committee, said the UK government “should have made clear (to Israel) there is going to be a price” over annexations, with trade agreements between the two countries possibly being on the chopping block.

Earlier this month, a group of prominent British Jews signed an open letter addressed to Israel's ambassador to the UK expressing "concern and alarm" over annexation.

Politicians who signed included Labour politician, Jeremy Beecham, former defence secretary and foreign secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, and House of Lords members, Julia Neuberger and Parry Mitchell.

Israel's plans to annex approximately one third of the West Bank was greenlighted by US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the Century". The plan also envisages the creation of a severely restricted Palestinian state.

The Palestinians have rejected the plan outright, while world leaders have urged Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu to halt annexation of parts of the West Bank.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay connected