Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, last Friday, 20 June, met twenty representatives of groups from local Churches and Aid organisations who are campaigning for international trade rules to be reformed to give poor countries a fair deal. Peter Lilley also pledged his support for the creation of an Advocacy Fund to help developing countries to provide themselves with high quality legal and other advice on trade issues.

    Peter Lilley said: “Before entering Parliament I spent a number of years working on aid programmes in developing countries – so these are issues I feel very strongly about.

    “Trade is now the most important factor in the fight against poverty in the developing world. But all too often poor countries are prevented from exporting their products to the developed world because of protection. And poor farmers often suffer from subsidised products dumped in their local markets.

    Western agricultural subsidies, which no longer even help our farmers let alone our consumers, are hugely damaging to the livelihoods of people in poor countries. It is essential that the government acts to achieve radical reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. If our government and our EU partners fail in the commitments they have made to reform trade rules, they will fail the poor in the developing world. I shall continue to urge the government to pursue this with far greater urgency.


    Notes to Editors
    1. For more information, please contact Christine Percival, PA to Peter Lilley, on 020 7219 4577.
    2. Peter Lilley has signed the following Early Day Motion in Parliament (EDM 1421):
    That this House shares the concern of the Trade Justice Movement about the plight of the poorest people in the world, and congratulates them on bringing them to the attention of the public; notes with concern the fact that a billion live on less than a dollar a day, that life expectancy in many African countries is declining, and that 30 million people in Africa have HIV/AIDS; believes that rising levels of international trade and trade liberalisation offer the best hope of alleviating poverty in the developing world; calls for quality legal and economic advice for developing countries on trade issues; believes that the Government has failed to do enough to promote trade liberalisation, reform agricultural subsidies and phase out European trade barriers; and further calls on the Government to use the World Trade Organisation meeting at Cancun to do more to reform the international trade rules to give poor countries a fair deal on international trade.

    3. The Trade Justice Lobby is a group of more than 60 UK organisations, including Oxfam, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth and CAFOD, who are campaigning for a reform of international trade rules. The Trade Justice Movement are lobbying MPs in all 659 constituencies on 27-28 June 2003.