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:

www.writetothem.com today.

Progress of the EDM can be followed at:


By 23 June it had gathered 193 signatories. They are listed below.


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.


Gibson, Ian

Evans, Nigel

Pugh, John

Jackson, Glenda

Price, Adam

Burgon, Colin

Sheridan, Jim

Kilfoyle, Peter

Francis, Hywel

Turner, Desmond

Wareing, Robert N

Ruddock, Joan

Holmes, Paul

Jones, Lynne

Lepper, David

Connarty, Michael

Corbyn, Jeremy

Dismore, Andrew

Drew, David

Ancram, Michael

Williams, Roger

Hepburn, Stephen

Hoey, Kate

Humble, Joan

Marshall, David

McCafferty, Chris

Meale, Alan

Campbell, Ronnie

Conway, Derek

Cryer, Ann

Cummings, John

Flynn, Paul

Hancock, Mike

Bottomley, Peter

Vis, Rudi

Devine, Jim

Russell, Bob

Simpson, Alan

Hughes, Simon

Jenkins, Brian

Keetch, Paul

Lazarowicz, Mark

Osborne, Sandra

Breed, Colin

Caton, Martin

Dean, Janet

Featherstone, Lynne

James, Sian C

Lancaster, Mark

Morgan, Julie

Marris, Rob

McDonnell, Alasdair

Etherington, Bill

Hamilton, David

Williams, Betty

Wood, Mike

Anderson, David

Clark, Katy

Rogerson, Daniel

Lloyd, Tony

Trickett, Jon

Goodman, Helen

Riordan, Linda

McKechin, Ann

Todd, Mark

Williams, Stephen

Opik, Lembit

Burden, Richard

Dobbin, Jim

Streeter, Gary

Wilshire, David

Hemming, John

Farron, Timothy

Pelling, Andrew

Sarwar, Mohammad

Skinner, Dennis

Havard, Dai

Iddon, Brian

Khabra, Piara S

Cohen, Harry

Crausby, David

Mitchell, Austin

Galloway, George

Abbott, Diane

Austin, John

Baker, Norman

Berry, Roger

Taylor, David

Smith, Geraldine

Davidson, Ian

Walter, Robert

McGovern, Jim

Harvey, Nick

Howarth, George

Jones, Kevan

Kaufman, Gerald

Godsiff, Roger

Benton, Joe

Walley, Joan

Singh, Marsha

Marshall-Andrews, Robert

Buck, Karen

Fisher, Mark

Foster, Don

Hall, Patrick

Leech, John

Salter, Martin

Hopkins, Kelvin

Illsley, Eric

Marsden, Gordon

Murphy, Denis

O'Hara, Edward

Cook, Frank

Dobson, Frank

Barlow, Celia

Rowen, Paul

Maples, John

Cunningham, Jim

Battle, John

McCarthy, Kerry

Ruane, Chris

Challen, Colin

Clapham, Michael

Doran, Frank

Grogan, John

Stunell, Andrew

Griffith, Nia

Williams, Mark

Pound, Stephen

Sanders, Adrian

Short, Clare

Cable, Vincent

Gidley, Sandra

Harris, Evan

Owen, Albert

Brake, Tom

Brown, Nicholas

Clelland, David

Anderson, Janet

Truswell, Paul

Wyatt, Derek

Brown, Lyn

Hunter, Mark

Love, Andrew

Durkan, Mark

Field, Frank

Gerrard, Neil

Betts, Clive

Stewart, Ian

Strang, Gavin

Stringer, Graham

Thornberry, Emily

Starkey, Phyllis

Jones, Martyn

Donohoe, Brian H

Taylor, Dari

Taylor, Matthew

Taylor, Richard

Williams, Hywel

Hillier, Meg

MacNeil, Angus

Heyes, David

Chapman, Ben

Llwyd, Elfyn

Willis, Phil

Hosie, Stewart

Hood, Jimmy

Mullin, Chris

Hamilton, Fabian

Bayley, Hugh

Stoate, Howard

Teather, Sarah

Wishart, Pete

Younger-Ross, Richard

Willott, Jenny

Naysmith, Doug

Chaytor, David

Cooper, Rosie

Khan, Sadiq

Soulsby, Peter

Dowd, Jim

Cousins, Jim

George, Andrew

Engel, Natascha

Moffatt, Laura

Allen, Graham

Tipping, Paddy

Howarth, David

Robinson, Geoffrey

Farrelly, Paul

Malik, Shahid

Efford, Clive

Brown, Russell

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).


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