1. Do you oppose Israel’s violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and do you support Palestinians’ right to self-determination?
I am against any violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, and I also support the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.
2. Will you oppose any upgrade of European agreements with Israel until Israel abides by the human rights clause in the EU Israel Association Agreement?
If elected as an MEP for the North East of England, I will carefully consider any policy area including EU agreements with non-EU countries and base my vote on an analysis of the proposals on the table at the time. I will always take human rights issues into account. Whilst I cannot say how I would vote on a hypothetical future agreement or legislation, I can say that I would have voted against the last upgrade of the EU-Israel agreement (‘Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products’ – ACAA) in 2012.
3. Will you support mandatory EU wide labelling of agricultural goods and wine from Israel’s settlements?
I generally support better labelling of all products, including specific geographical labelling, in order to enable consumers to make more informed decisions when buying goods and to improve transparency in supply chains.
4. Will you support a campaign to exclude all goods entering the EU from Israel’s settlements beyond the Green Line (until a peace deal is agreed)?
I am aware that manufacturing and agriculture in Israeli settlements provide much needed employment to many Palestinians. Trade and employment in areas of conflict are complicated and complex issues. I would have to have more information on the impact and consequences of a ban on goods entering the EU from Israeli settlements in West Bank or Gaza before supporting such a campaign.
5. What else would you try to do to try to achieve justice for the Palestinians?
As an elected representative for the people of the North East of England, I will listen carefully to my constituents’ concerns about matters relating to Israeli-Palestinian relations. Where appropriate, I will write to Ministers within the UK Government and the EU’s High Representative to raise those points of concern with the relevant officials and consider signing any relevant Written Declarations.
I will welcome new research into the many issues involved in this conflict, and where appropriate, table parliamentary questions to the European Commission in order to seek clarification on what EU action is being taken.
Within my daily work as an MEP, I will be open to discussions within the European Parliament’s committees and inter-groups that deal with Palestinian-Israeli questions.
I’m looking forward to discussing these questions further with you on Wednesday.
Lead Liberal Democrat MEP candidate for North East England in 2014
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