Government must protect emergency supply lines from unfair practices

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has written to the Foreign Secretary calling on him to urgently outline how the government will ensure that UK-bound emergency shipments are not diverted by other states. Media reports in recent days have suggested that emergency supply shipments have been paid to divert from France and Canada to the United States.

Mr Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, said:

“These actions, if confirmed, risk having a corrosive impact on international trust and our ability to work together to recover from this crisis. We need full confidence in the security and stability of emergency supplies and that they cannot simply be pilfered through bribes on the airport tarmac.

“Aside from the immediate practical concerns, a failure to challenge this kind of behaviour would set a worrying precedent. We cannot allow ‘beggar thy neighbour’ to become the norm in international relations.”

He continued:

“I have written to the Foreign Secretary about this as an urgent matter. The UK government must give a strong statement that these actions will not be tolerated and that we will stand up for fair play in international trade.”

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