Chris Law (Dundee West)

Chris Law (Dundee West)

Twitter: @ChrisLawSNP. More information can be found here.

1) Do you agree that the UK should  recognise Palestine ? What would be your reasons for and against recognition?  

The SNP have engaged directly with both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to encourage a two-state solution, and the SNP will continue to pressure the UK Government to exert its influence in the region and do more to bring a lasting peace. The first step on this road is to formally recognise the state of Palestine and we will continue to urge the UK government to do so.  

2) In the light of  the recent Statement by US Secretary of State,Mike Pompeo, on the Legal Status of Israeli Settlements under International Lawshould the UK call for an end to all illegal Israeli settlement construction on Palestinian land, and stop trade with Israeli settlements? Do you consider settlements as an obstacle to peace, and what can the UK Government do about them?

For over two years, the SNP have been vocal supporters of the residents of Palestinian villages threatened with demolition in contravention of international law, with my colleague Tommy Sheppard MP first raising the issue in the Chamber in February 2017. Any illegal demolition of these villages and forcible transfer of its residents would cause deep damage to the prospect of a two-state solution. Indeed, the Minister for the Middle East noted last year that the forcible removal of the residents of Palestinian villages could be seen as ‘a breach of international humanitarian law’ and would ‘call into question the viability of a two-state solution.’

My SNP colleague Brendan O’Hara MP, has also raised this issue in the Chamber of the House of Commons, calling for ‘hard-hitting, far-reaching economic sanctions, because negotiation, pleading and appeals to international law have demonstrably failed’.

If a viable, lasting solution to this protracted conflict is to be found then international humanitarian law must be followed and the human rights of Palestinians respected. The SNP has long been a vocal supporter of a two-state solution and will continue to press the UK government to hold accountable those who violate international humanitarian law. The UK is legally required to taken action as a third state actor in upholding international law, and this means not facilitating and supporting settlement infrastructure with trade.

3) Should guarantees on human rights be a condition of new free trade agreements after the UK leaves the EU? If not, why not?  

Yes

4) Do you think the UK could/should be doing more to uphold the rule of international law in the Middle East?

Yes

 5) Do you think that the government should suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia over its involvement in the bombing campaign of Yemen?

The SNP has repeatedly called for the United Kingdom to halt its arms trade with Saudi Arabia, withdraw military advisors and use diplomatic pressure to move the Saudis away from continuing a heavy-handed military campaign. Furthermore, the Government must ensure that relief is provided for the Yemeni people as they continue to suffer mass shortages of food and vital medicines.

There is a contradiction between the UK presenting itself as a progressive, liberal country and defender of the international rules-based order, while at the same time providing diplomatic cover for a regime which has repeatedly violated these rules.

6) What would you propose to address increasing levels of hate crime in Britain, including attacks on the Muslim community, Jewish community, and on refugees and migrants?  

As a friend of these communities in my constituency, I find the rise in hate crimes alarming and would propose the continuing enforcement of current law for those committing hate crimes, as well as a shift in the media portrayal and language when speaking about certain groups.