Rennie seeks confirmation there won’t be any more human rights trade blunders

Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie has today called on the Scottish Government to publish the human rights assessments of any companies the First Minister plans to do business with in China over the Easter break.

Last year, the Economy Secretary Keith Brown had to apologise for arranging for the First Minister to sign an agreement with Chinese companies reportedly worth £10 billion, only for one of the companies to be connected to human rights abuses while the other was found not to have any money to spend.

After the deal, which lent undue credibility to unscrupulous companies, Economy Secretary Keith Brown committed to introducing a new method of assessing human rights records, but details of this have yet to be published.

Willie Rennie said:

“In the interests of transparency, the Scottish Government must publish its human rights reports on the firms it intends to do deals with, to reassure the public that this time they’ve done their due diligence.

“The First Minister’s indignant and defensive response to reasonable questions about human rights abuses in China was unjustified. Keith Brown’s trade blunders have left people unconvinced that the government is doing its homework and a year after it was announced we’re yet to see any details of this new process for conducting human rights checks.

“I hope they’ve learnt their lesson. This must all be clarified before the First Minister sets off so that the public can be assured she won't sign away Scotland’s integrity.”

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