Still time for your MP to oppose US blockade measures

Campaign News | Wednesday, 8 August 2007

151 MPs sign anti-blockade motion

A total of 151 MPs from across the political spectrum have already signed EDM 1408 - a motion opposing attempts to impose the US blockade of Cuba on firms operating in the UK.

But the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) wants to see more politicians putting their name to it so as to give an even stronger message to Gordon Brown and his Government that they must protect British sovereignty and rebuff US aggression.

If you haven't already you can still ask your MP to sign by writing to your MP at the House of Commons, London, SW1A OAA, or email via

To check if your MP has signed EDM 1408 go to

Early Day Motion 1408 (EDM) calls on companies based in this country to respect the laws of this land and to penalise those companies - such as Barclays Bank - which bow to US legislation against Cuba.

The motion is in the top 65 of the 2183 tabled this year, and MPs will be able to sign it after they have returned from recess, on Monday, October 8. The motion can be signed up until the end of October.

To check whether or not your MP has signed EDM 1408 follow the link at the bottom of the page, and to write to them follow the instructions provided.

Rob Miller, CSC’s director, said: “I’m delighted that so many MPs have already recognised the EDM’s importance, but I want CSC’s members to do their best to get those who haven’t signed to do so.

“It is vitally important that American authorities do not try to enforce American laws in the UK.

“Not only is it an attack on Cuban business, but it is also an assault on UK sovereignty.”

Labour politicians such as Dennis Skinner, John McDonnell, Jon Cruddas and Jeremy Corbyn have already put pen to paper, and they have been joined by 37 Liberal Democrats, including former party leader Charles Kennedy, along with eight Conservatives, including the party’s former deputy leader Michael Ancram. Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond is also among those who have pledged their support for the EDM.

The EDM was tabled by Labour’s Ian Gibson, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cuba, and he called on people to lobby their MPs to make sure they support the motion.

The MP for Norwich said: “We are fighting for a free liberated world, and supporting Cuba’s right to independence and its right to be free from American aggression is an important part of that. It is shameful that nothing stops Uncle Sam.

“Barclays’ decision not only amounts to a nasty harassment of a Caribbean country, but is also an invasion of our own rules and laws - and that is why I believe it is right to protest.”

Colin Burgon, MP for Elmet, added: “Those who prattle on about national sovereignty and losing rights to Brussels are strangely quiet on the fact that the United States is passing legislation which dictates policy in the UK. George Bush wants to turn the screw on Cuba and it’s vital that we fight against him.”

Barclays has closed the accounts of Cuban organisations including Havana International Bank and Cubanacan, a state-owned travel organisation, even though the accounts were healthy.

The bank has refused to state why it has taken the action and has tried to hide behind the cloak of ‘commercial confidentiality’, but the decision is an attempt to comply with US extra territorial blockade legislation.

However, it is illegal under UK law for any company trading within these shores - whomever they are owned by - to refuse to trade with individuals because of laws imposed by foreign powers.

Not only does UK law take precedence in the UK, but the actions of Barclays and Hilton disregards anti-discrimination laws which state that no person will be discriminated against on grounds of race.

Write to your MP at the House of Commons, London, SW1A OAA, or email via

To check if your MP has signed EDM 1408 go to

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