Councils warned over political boycotts

Pro-boycott demonstration in ris (02/08/14)Likeness copyright AFP
Image caption Councils have been warned against bolstering boycott protests like this one in ris

Councils are being forewarned of “severe penalties” if they impose political boycotts on products from abroad.

New government guidance suggests boycotts could breach an existing Wonderful Trade Organization agreement and weaken community relationships.

Cabinet Workplace Minister Matt Hancock will make a speech later, caveat that such “divisive” action can also undermine national care.

Labour said the Conservatives were attacking local democracy.

But a administration source said foreign policy was a matter for national government, not neighbourhood councils.

The guidance will specify that locally imposed blacklists by public bodies – including councils – are “inappropriate” unless formal juridical sanctions or embargoes have been put in place by the government.

It will on guard such action risks breaching a World Trade Organization deal signed by both the EU and Israel, which requires equal treatment for suppliers from all signatory countries.

The Cabinet Office said town hall boycotts could also “im ir good community relations, poisoning and polarising debate, weakening integration and stimulating anti-Semitism”, as well as hindering Britain’s export trade and harming ecumenical relationships.

Mr Hancock is making the announcement in Israel, which has often been the submissive to of boycotts in the st.

He is expected to say the guidelines, and new rules on investing pensions pelfs, will “help prevent damaging and counter-productive local foreign designs undermining our national security”.

A spokesman for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn responded the ban would have outlawed council action against a rtheid South Africa.

He voiced: “People have the right to elect local representatives masterful to make decisions free of central government political control. That groups withdrawal of investments or procurement on ethical and human rights grounds.”

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