Debates between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab

There have been 12 exchanges between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab

1 Mon 20th July 2020 China
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
3 interactions (435 words)
2 Wed 1st July 2020 Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
3 interactions (306 words)
3 Thu 18th June 2020 DFID-FCO Merger
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
3 interactions (233 words)
4 Tue 17th March 2020 Covid-19
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
3 interactions (304 words)
5 Tue 28th January 2020 UK Telecommunications
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
3 interactions (246 words)
6 Tue 14th January 2020 Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
3 interactions (293 words)
7 Mon 13th January 2020 Iran
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
3 interactions (324 words)
8 Tue 15th October 2019 Turkish Incursion into Northern Syria
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
3 interactions (241 words)
9 Thu 26th September 2019 Hong Kong
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
3 interactions (399 words)
10 Wed 25th September 2019 Iran
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
3 interactions (178 words)
11 Tue 3rd September 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
3 interactions (272 words)
12 Tue 6th February 2018 Housing, Planning and the Green Belt
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
3 interactions (388 words)

China

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Monday 20th July 2020

(2 weeks, 1 day ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
20 Jul 2020, 12:05 a.m.

I have already raised with Mike Pompeo, as well as with my other Five Eyes partners, not just the Magnitsky sanctions regime that we have put in place but the designations. We have also given due consideration to co-operation on future evidence. It is important that there is an evidence-based approach, although there is of course political accountability, and we will carefully gather and assess the evidence.

In answer to the hon. Gentleman’s question about priorities, we have set out, through a policy note published in the Library of the House, the criteria that we will apply and the policy approach. That stresses the nature of the violations, their severity and our ability to hold to account the individuals at the right levels—sufficiently senior—so that we send the right message.

Bob Seely Portrait Bob Seely (Isle of Wight) (Con) - Hansard

I agree with so much of what the Secretary of State is saying about the need for balance, about the criticality of China and about respect for what it has achieved, but the signal truth is that the China we hoped for is not the China that we are now getting. We need a much more significant reset in our relationship in respect of not only Hong Kong but foreign lobbying, foreign investment, espionage—industrial or otherwise—human rights and our alliances and defence posture. Will the Secretary State confirm whether we are approaching all these issues piecemeal or whether there is a wider reset? If there is a wider reset, will he explain how the Government are interacting with parliamentarians and outside experts, and how that more comprehensive reset is going to be presented to Parliament so that we can all get to debate it and contribute to it?

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard

My hon. Friend is an assiduous follower of China; I know that he takes a very close interest in it. On what the right balance is, he has mentioned all the areas of challenge. We could talk about universities, freedom of expression—there are many—but, for balance, it is important to say that there are also areas of co-operation. China is one of the biggest investors—the biggest investor, I think—in renewable technology. If we are to shift the dial significantly on climate change, China will to have to be a constructive and, indeed, positive partner, with which to engage.

More strategically, my hon. Friend asked how the measures that we take fit a broader strategy. We are considering that all the time not just through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office channels, but through the National Security Council. With the integrated review, of course, he and other hon. Members will get precisely the opportunity to scrutinise the more strategic, big picture.

Hong Kong National Security Legislation

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Wednesday 1st July 2020

(1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard

I share that sentiment, and that is exactly the policy and the measures that we have set out in the statement I have made today.

Bob Seely Portrait Bob Seely (Isle of Wight) (Con) [V] - Hansard

I thank the Foreign Secretary and the Home Secretary for their very welcome support for BNOs. Does the Foreign Secretary agree that this dreadful law is proof that China has changed? I hope he sees the clear agreement in the House that we need a new strategic approach to this communist dictatorship, not just the naive hope that China will change into what we want it to be. We were slow to prepare for the new authoritarianism in Russia and now in China. Will he take the feelings and sentiments that he has heard today from the House on Huawei and other issues onboard?

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard

I certainly always pay very close attention to the remarks that my hon. Friend makes on China, which he follows very closely. He is right that we have special responsibilities to the BNOs. We look at the relationship right across the board—every aspect of it—through the National Security Council, in the Foreign Office and more broadly across Whitehall. I personally do not agree with the cold war analogy he has provided. I think that not only the opportunities, but the challenges that China presents in the 21st century are different, partly as a result of technology and such things as cyber and partly just because of the unique nature of China as a country. We want a positive relationship. I and the Government do not want a bad relationship to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, but what is equally clear—I can reassure my hon. Friend of this—is that we will not do anything that imperils our vital interests, and we will not lie down and sacrifice our values for the purposes of trade, commerce or anything like that.

DFID-FCO Merger

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Thursday 18th June 2020

(1 month, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard

I share the hon. Lady’s passion and commitment in this area. We have made the commitment to 0.7% of gross national income. We will discuss and scrutinise all the questions around accountability and the structure of the new body. Aid will be represented not just in foreign policy but in the NSC and at the Cabinet table by the Secretary of State for the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office—that would obviously be me—and the Prime Minister will oversee it through the NSC, which he chairs.

Bob Seely Portrait Bob Seely (Isle of Wight) (Con) - Hansard

First, will the Secretary of State confirm that claims that this merger will take money from the world’s poorest are simply false? Secondly, will he say whether this is a one-off move or part of a programme to give greater coherence and integration to British overseas policy?

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard

I thank my hon. Friend for his question. In fact, I wanted to say in relation to the previous question that we are absolutely committed not just to safeguarding and protecting but to improving the work we do to help and lift out of poverty the most vulnerable and the poorest around the world. My hon. Friend asked whether this was a process. I think we are on a process of further integration, but our current plans are the ones that we have announced, and we are very focused on making sure we get maximum effectiveness out of this merger.

Covid-19

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Tuesday 17th March 2020

(4 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard

I thank the hon. Gentleman for what he said about consular staff; we will pass that on. It does matter that we have cross-party support for the essential work that all our public services are doing.

The hon. Gentleman asked about travel advice. Obviously, we are advising against all but essential travel globally. It is up to individuals to make the individual judgment calls, which will depend on their personal circumstances and on the availability of commercial flights. In the last resort, we have been able to provide repatriation flights, but that is getting more difficult. We will continue to provide support and advice, but ultimately some of those judgment calls will remain a decision for the individual.

Bob Seely Portrait Bob Seely (Isle of Wight) (Con) - Hansard

I would like to follow up what the Secretary of State was saying about ferries and the Department for Transport in relation to the UK. I have two questions. Will the Government please relax competition law today to allow discussion between the three cross-Solent ferry operators to build a resilience plan? They will be in breach of the law if they do not, and lives could depend on this if our ferry services fall over.

Secondly, will the Government support today the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to allow people to sit in cars during ferry journeys in the UK, to protect at-risk groups and for social distancing purposes?

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard

As ever, my hon. Friend raises important and excellent practical points. They are mainly for the Secretary of State for Transport, but I reassure him that the Secretary of State is talking to the ferry operators as well as the airliners and working together to make sure that we get not just the clearest but the most practical advice, so that our constituents and people travelling to or from the UK can make the decisions that they need to make.

UK Telecommunications

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Tuesday 28th January 2020

(6 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
28 Jan 2020, 3:40 p.m.

I do not think there is any reason why we cannot, but we must provide the necessary investment and the right market structure and level playing field. We must also engage in some of the international relations, networks and partnerships that can assure us of either a home-grown alternative for the future, or one that is worked out with our most highly trusted partners.

Bob Seely Portrait Bob Seely (Isle of Wight) (Con) - Hansard
28 Jan 2020, 3:41 p.m.

I welcome much of the telecoms review, and I thank my right hon. Friend for the manner in which he is speaking now, but I still think that Members in all parts of the House will have significant problems with high-risk vendors, partly because of years of under-communication about this issue on the part of Governments. Just for now, however, can my right hon. Friend confirm that Parliament will be able to debate an agreed definition of high-risk and non-high-risk vendors, that Parliament will be able to agree which high-risk vendors we want in the system and what the percentage should be—35% seems an awful lot—and that we will be able to work out how to encourage trusted vendors to compete with high-risk vendors in non-core-periphery elements, so that we can build non-trusted vendors out of the system, not into it?

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
28 Jan 2020, 3:41 p.m.

We have a definition of “high-risk vendor”, but my hon. Friend is absolutely right is to suggest that there will be ample parliamentary opportunity to debate and define when we introduce the legislation, which will be done as soon as possible.

Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Tuesday 14th January 2020

(6 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
14 Jan 2020, 1:26 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman is just wrong. Of course one can want to preserve this deal but be ambitious and, if it is possible, bring the United States and Tehran into a broader rapprochement, dealing not just with the nuclear issue but with the wider destabilising activities. That is the policy that we are pursuing and we are doing so with the US and also, crucially, with our EU partners. There seems to be a bit of amnesia on the Opposition Benches. It was President Macron who last year proposed a very similar approach. Just as we are willing to support that in relation to proposals initiated in Washington, we supported it in relation to Macron. We want to keep the transatlantic alliance together and we want to bring a broader rapprochement between the US and Iran that can lead to a better path for the Iranian people.

Bob Seely Portrait Bob Seely (Isle of Wight) (Con) - Hansard

It seems that the JCPOA in its current form is dying, although it is not dead yet, and I compliment the Foreign Secretary and his Ministers for the work that they are doing. Is there any common ground between the United States and Iran on a potential JCPOA 2?

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
14 Jan 2020, 1:27 p.m.

It is not clear that there is, as of now. However, there is scope, if Iran is willing—the E3 statement backed this up, but we come back to that basic dynamic and that basic choice—to see some sort of broader deal that would address not just the nuclear front but the wider destabilising activities. If we want a longer-term resolution to the challenge that Iran faces which brings in the United States and all the relevant partners in the region, it is absolutely right that we hold to that ambition and pursue it where we can.

Iran

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Monday 13th January 2020

(6 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
13 Jan 2020, 4:11 p.m.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Our hearts go out to anyone who has come into this new year and has to face up to the loss of life of a close friend or member of their family. We are doing everything that we can, working with our international partners, to be able to repatriate the victims so that the families can have that solace of paying their last respects. We are also making sure that we work more generally to get an independent investigation with credibility, transparency and an international component so that those families get the answers to the questions that they must be going over in their heads over and over again.

Bob Seely Portrait Bob Seely (Isle of Wight) (Con) - Hansard
13 Jan 2020, 4:12 p.m.

Following up on the point made by the right hon. Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn), who is no longer in his place, is there a case for the Foreign Office to do some useful and valuable work on updating the Geneva conventions or, working with others, updating the rules around civilian airliners to do more to ensure that civilian airliners are not, on a semi-regular basis, being shot out of the sky using, often very improperly, poorly made Russian kit? We have had hundreds of people killed, including Britons but also from many other countries, in the past few years.

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
13 Jan 2020, 4:13 p.m.

I thank my hon. Friend, but the reality is that this not about a lack of clarity around the law. Targeting a civilian airliner is clearly unlawful. There is no absence or lack of legal basis for making that point; the question is compliance. The first thing we need, which is having Iran acknowledge responsibility for this, is to get the full details—the full facts—of how it could have happened. If it is being suggested that it is a mistake, we need to know how a mistake like that could have happened and then learn the appropriate lessons from it. That is what we are absolutely committed to.

Turkish Incursion into Northern Syria

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Tuesday 15th October 2019

(9 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Parliament Live - Hansard
15 Oct 2019, 12:04 p.m.

We make clear our views on all these issues right across the range, even when we disagree, to all our partners, as I have made clear in relation to Turkey. The same applies with all our NATO allies. The point now is to bring our allies back together and see a bit more unity of purpose in dealing with the terrible conflict in Syria, the overarching strategic threat that we all face from Daesh and alleviation of the humanitarian crisis that we all agree is utterly deplorable. It needs to be alleviated both for the individuals affected in the region and for the knock-on effects that it will have on the region and indeed Europe.

Bob Seely Portrait Mr Bob Seely (Isle of Wight) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard

What is the risk that UK ISIS fighters will now be freed to fight and kill again? Is my right hon. Friend receiving accurate information on the status of UK ISIS fighters, and indeed ISIS fighters and their security? Are we going to have to fight the ISIS campaign all over again?

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
15 Oct 2019, 12:04 p.m.

I thank my hon. Friend. He is right to raise that concern about foreign fighters. We have made it clear to our US partners, and I have made it clear to the Foreign Minister of Turkey. The situation on the ground is fluid to say the least, but we have to make sure that the Turkish intervention is brought to an end as quickly as possible to avoid precisely the eventuality that he describes.

Hong Kong

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Thursday 26th September 2019

(10 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Sep 2019, 11:11 a.m.

I thank the hon. Lady for the careful and measured way in which she asked that question. Our overarching effort now is to convey the message from the UK, but also from the international community, that the one country, two systems model is respected. It has implications for BNOs, and it has implications for autonomy and the right to peaceful protest in Hong Kong. They are all part of the same package. I am not going to start getting into what will happen if that package is ripped up on the other side, but I do think that—particularly given the concerns raised by the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Helen Goodman) about the question of troop movements and whether there might be a major intervention from Beijing—we need to be very clear about the fact that that would put at risk the model that China itself has advocated.

Bob Seely Portrait Mr Bob Seely (Isle of Wight) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Sep 2019, 11:12 a.m.

Does the Foreign Secretary understand the concerns in the House about the BNOs? China is not trying to abolish one country, two systems, but it is squeezing it and pressuring it, and it is therefore right for us to look at alternatives to the current BNO status, such as giving BNOs the right to work in the UK at short notice and, potentially, a fast track to residency. On that point, there are also 250 former servicemen in Hong Kong whom, arguably, we have not looked after well enough. Will the Foreign Secretary and the Government look at that issue as well?

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
26 Sep 2019, 11:13 a.m.

My hon. Friend is, I think, right to say that China is so far respecting the one country, two systems model, and for the large part is trying to respect—or seeking to respect, or at least talking about respecting—the degree to which it is reflected in the joint declaration. I think that as long as we are in that position, it would be wrong for us to unpick one element of the package, namely the status of BNOs. Of course, as was mentioned by the hon. Member for Darlington (Jenny Chapman), if it is all reviewed on the side of China, we would obviously want to think again, but I think that for the moment the right thing to do is convey to the Chinese Government and the Administration in Hong Kong why it is in the interests of all sides to respect the one country, two systems model.

Iran

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Wednesday 25th September 2019

(10 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Parliament Live - Hansard
25 Sep 2019, 6:09 p.m.

The hon. Gentleman makes some interesting points, and I accept some of his concerns. The international efforts post the G7 summit with President Trump and President Macron, at which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is at the forefront, to make sure that rather than an EU or US effort we have a broad, international effort, are the way to focus the minds of the hardliners in Tehran.

Bob Seely Portrait Mr Bob Seely (Isle of Wight) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard
25 Sep 2019, 6:13 p.m.

What can the Foreign Secretary share with the House about any changes in the laydown of Iranian forces or their proxies in countries such as Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq, which will give us a pointer as to whether Iran is preparing for a wider conflict?

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Parliament Live - Hansard
25 Sep 2019, 6:09 p.m.

It is difficult to assess. Ultimately we have to judge Iran by its behaviour, and its latest behaviour has been unacceptable and is deeply worrying. That is why the crucial thing, while creating the space for de-escalation and political dialogue, is to be clear that Iran cannot continue as it has, especially with the kind of attacks that we saw on the Aramco facilities.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Tuesday 3rd September 2019

(11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Parliament Live - Hansard
3 Sep 2019, 2:59 p.m.

This is something we are now discussing more and more with our international partners in all parts of the world. It is not just a European issue; transatlantically there are concerns, too. We have raised the issue, to which the hon. Gentleman refers, of a disproportionate response. We also recognise that there has been violence. The answer and the solution is to reduce tensions and to respect the lawful and peaceful right of protest of the people of Hong Kong, but also to have moves and stepping stones towards the dialogue that will actually resolve the issue.

Bob Seely Portrait Mr Bob Seely (Isle of Wight) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard

16. I declare that this weekend I went to Hong Kong as a guest of a group of democracy activists to witness the overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations. Does the Foreign Secretary agree that the fundamental problem is that there are people fighting for their rights under the two systems, one country model, when the authoritarian state China wishes to replace that model with the one system, one country model? [912255]

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Parliament Live - Hansard

My hon. Friend is very knowledgeable in this area and I respect the fact that he has huge expertise. It is not clear, in truth, what the position in Beijing is. Actually, if we look at all its public statements, we see that it sticks and adheres to the position of one country, two systems. That provides the model that can resolve this situation, but we need to have respect for the lawful right of protest. We need to have stepping stones to build confidence towards a track of political dialogue. That is the route through the current situation and to avoid it escalating any further.

Housing, Planning and the Green Belt

Debate between Bob Seely and Dominic Raab
Tuesday 6th February 2018

(2 years, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
6 Feb 2018, 6:53 p.m.

The national planning policy framework makes it very clear that building on the green belt must be the last resort. Well disposed as I am towards the hon. Gentleman, he will not tempt me to start commenting on individual plans or planning applications, but I can tell him, in relation to his own local authority, that we did not have a bid for the homes infrastructure fund and we want the bids to be locally driven. Then we will look on them as sympathetically as possible—in accordance, obviously, with a set of criteria—to maximise the output.

Bob Seely Portrait Mr Seely - Hansard
6 Feb 2018, 6:54 p.m.

Does my hon. Friend understand that, for smaller authorities such as Isle of Wight Council, which is just about the smallest county council in Britain, it is difficult because we do not have the capacity always to know how the central Government system works? Therefore, we lose out when it comes to applying for some of these funds.

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab - Hansard
6 Feb 2018, 6:54 p.m.

I listened to my hon. Friend’s passionate, tenacious and articulate speech on behalf of the Isle of Wight. I am happy to look again at whether we can provide any support in relation to the bidding process, but we are in a Catch-22 because we will be criticised for imposing ideas on local communities—particularly the smaller ones—if we do not allow bids to be community-driven and led. However, let us take that forward and see whether we can work together.

I cannot tell my hon. Friend the Member for Grantham and Stamford (Nick Boles) how fantastic it was to see him in the Chamber, back in fine fettle, setting the housing market in context. As usual, he is a one man walking ideas factory, offering ideas that I am already in part looking at trying to take forward. He made a powerful case for the national mission to build more homes and for trying, as we—I emphasise this—carry communities with us, to think in radical terms to get this job done.

The hon. Member for Coventry South (Mr Cunningham) made some important points about the green belt. My right hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs (Nick Herbert) brought his experience directly from a local public inquiry to inform the debate at the national level. He also raised the issue of equality of arms between developers and local communities, an important point well made.