193 MPs back parliamentary motion on UK and EU/Cuba relations
Campaign News | Friday, 23 June 2006
Call for rethink of European policy towards island is among 'top 50' most supported issues
London 18 June: A cross-party group of MPs' Early Day Motion calling on the UK to improve its relations with Cuba has gathered 193 signatures and is among the 50 most supported motions on the Hansard website.
The serendipitously numbered EDM 1959 lies in joint 49th place out of 2,628 Early Day Motions during this session of parliament.
This is a remarkable achievement for an issue of foreign policy.
According to the list available at the Hansard EDM website (see below) the only foreign policy issues of more concern to MPs are Colombia and Burma.
The signatories include former cabinet minister Clare Short, not traditionally known for her support of Cuba, and Vincent Cable, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson on foriegn affairs.
An Early Day Motion, or EDM, is a motion put down ("tabled") by Members of Parliament calling for a debate on a particular subject. In practice, there is rarely time to debate EDMs nowadays and their true modern-day purpose is to enable MPs to draw attention to an issue and to canvass support for their views by inviting other Members to add their signatures in support of the motion.
EDMs that attract more than 100 supporters are considered issues that are worthy of being taken notice of. If the EDM can attract more than 200 signatories, the matter will become one of serious concern for the government.
Readers are urged to ask their MP to sign the Early Day Motion 1959 on Cuba.
Email them from:
Progress of the EDM can be followed at:
By 23 June it had gathered 193 signatories. They are listed below.
EDM 1959, EU COMMON POSITION ON CUBA
That this House recognises efforts by the Government to cement positive relations with Cuba; identifies the 48 per cent decrease in United Kingdom exports to Cuba since 2000 as unwelcome and in direct contrast to increased trade between Cuba and other EU partners; notes the continued aggressive lobbying of EU member states by the US Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba which promotes a tightening of extra territorial elements of the illegal blockade which effect EU/Cuba relations; acknowledges that despite differences between the two countries, cultural, scientific, sporting and trade links should be protected and built upon; and calls on the United Kingdom Government to maintain and develop its independent approach of positive engagement towards Cuba when the EU common position on Cuba is reviewed in June.
Wareing, Robert N
James, Sian C
Khabra, Piara S
Donohoe, Brian H
Open letter on Cuba sent to EU ministers
Madrid, June 3 (Prensa Latina) An open letter, signed by European organizations, unions, academics and legislators, is being circulated in Europe to denounce the European Union?s “common” position against Cuba to be reviewed this month.
The letter, written in May, has been signed by representatives of 145 organizations, trade unions and associations from Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway and Holland.
Also 150 British parliamentarians, 3 EU deputies and 85 academicians from universities and other education and research centers signed the letter.
The signatories decry this 1996 “common position” as it establishes conditions unique to EU relations with other countries.
The text denounces the impact of such conditions, such as in the UN Human Rights Commission or the treatment given to the Cuban government’s request to enter the Cotonou Agreement.
It also criticizes handling of the Community Cooperation and the negotiation between US and EU over application of extra-territorial laws like the US Helms-Burton Act.
The letter pointed out the EU does not need any community strategy for cooperation with Cuba, just as with other countries, and that it is necessary to strengthen association between EU and Latin America, deepening political dialogue and respectful cooperation with all Latin American countries.
Among notables signing the letter are people Jose Saramago, Miguel Urbano Rodiíguez, Ginette Hesss Skandrani, Margit Mayer, Ekkehart Krippendorff, Elke Beeck, Alain Coutte, Peter Strutynski, Elisabeth Mollet, Charles Etchezaharreta and Siegfried Scholze.
The idea is sponsored by the Grupo Sur, formed by OSPAAL, Paz y Tercer Mundo, ACSUR Las Segovias y Cooperacion, GVC, COOPI and MOVIMONDO (Italy), OXFAM Solidarite (Belgium), ASTM (Luxembourg) and EEDDA (Greece).