Keir Starmer has said that changes to extradition arrangements between the UK and Hong Kong is a “step in the right direction”, but has urged the government to “go further” and impose sanctions.
In an interview with BBC News today, the Labour leader discussed the reports of human rights abuses coming out of China and said that the UK “can’t turn a blind eye” on the issue.
The Labour leader said: “What’s happening in China is deeply disturbing and we can’t turn a blind eye to it… Some of the actions of the government are deeply concerning – and we can’t turn a blind eye and we shouldn’t turn a blind eye.”
He added: “We’ll look at what they’ll say about extradition but it looks like it will be a step in the right direction and therefore we would support that. But we would say go further.
“You can impose sanctions, and you should impose sanctions here in the UK. So we say to the government we’ll wait to see on extradition – but that’s a step in the right direction – but go further as well.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says changes to extradition arrangements with Hong Kong look to be a "step in the right direction"
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) July 20, 2020
The comments come as Dominic Raab is due to make an announcement to parliament this afternoon on the dispute between the UK and China. He is expected to announce a suspension of the UK’s extradition agreement with Hong Kong.
On Sunday, Lisa Nandy called on the government to impose sanctions on Chinese officials involved in human rights abuses, in a similar way in which the UK has targeted high-ranking Russian individuals in the Putin administration.