McArthur: Government learned no lessons from China deal

Speaking after he raised a Topical PQ at Holyrood on reports that Chinese company SinoFortone was considering reopening discussions with the Scottish Government, the Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur said: 

“A fortnight ago the First Minister said she had lessons to learn about the way in which she went about signing a memorandum with two Chinese companies in the spring. No checks were made and Amnesty International, amongst others, expressed concern at the human rights record of one of the companies. 

“Today the cabinet secretary Keith Brown told me that future deals would be signed ‘in the normal way’. He was unable to name a single lesson that had been learned.

“That is simply not good enough.  The Scottish Government needs to change its protocols so that it checks for human right issues before the First Minister is invited to put pen to paper on any agreement.   Anything else is simply empty rhetoric from the First Minister”.

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