Theresa May attending summit to ‘turbo charge’ trade with Gulf states

Theresa May attending summit to ‘turbo charge’ trade with Gulf states

Date: 6 December 2016

Responding to the news that Prime Minister Theresa May was attending a two day summit in Bahrain in order to “turbo-charge trade between the UK and the Gulf”, Nick Dearden the director of Global Justice Now said:

“It is instructive that the Prime Minister has prioritised ‘turbo charging’ our trade relations with one of the least democratic parts of the world. This confirms our fears that Britain’s post-Brexit foreign policy will be modelled on putting the narrow self-interest of big business ahead of decent jobs, human rights, environmental protection or building a fair society here in Britain. The delusions of empire on which the government is basing its rhetoric is simply disguising the fact that most people in Britain didn’t vote for policies like this.

“We don’t believe the majority of people in this country – be they pro- or anti-EU – want us to dive into trade relationships with countries which are fighting a brutal war in Yemen, which publicly behead people or which prohibit women from driving cars.”

Earlier this week Global Justice Now released a briefing called Dreaming of Empire? UK foreign policy post-Brexit. One of concerns raised by the briefing was that of the UK developing closer ties with authoritarian regimes for the purposes of trade deals and arms sales.

Photo: Pro-reform protesters taking part in demonstrations in 2011 in Bahrain, which were violently shut down by the government. Flickr/Al Jazeera