Government confirms commitment to preventing public institutions setting up their own international boycotts
A commitment to prevent public institutions from imposing their own international boycotts has been confirmed alongside the Queen’s Speech.
- Public institutions, including local councils, will be prevented from setting up boycotts against countries such as Israel
- Government is clear that it will make foreign policy decisions, not local authorities
- Minister tells institutions to focus on their day job instead of boycotts which sow division and hatred
The move will prevent organisations, including local councils, from boycotting countries such as Israel.
It will make sure there is a coherent approach to foreign relations from all public institutions, guaranteeing they do not go beyond the Government’s official foreign policy by implementing policies which undermine community cohesion.
Such policies have led to concerns about anti-Semitism being legitimised through actions such as Jewish films being censored and Jewish university societies being threatened with bans.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Oliver Dowden yesterday said:
Our public institutions should focus on their day job, not try to set foreign policy by making rules on which countries they will and won’t do business with.
By stopping this unsanctioned activity we can get better value for taxpayers and put an end to boycotts that divide communities and sow hatred.
The commitment will prevent public institutions from creating independent sanctions and boycotts against:
- Foreign countries or those linked to them
- The sale of goods and services from foreign countries
- UK firms which trade with such countries
Both the Cabinet Office and Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government have previously published guidance against such boycotts. The new policy will provide for a firmer approach.
It is also a long-standing principle that there may be restrictions on taxpayer-funded public institutions that do not apply to private bodies. For example, public bodies cannot engage in party political campaigning.
The Government will examine the appropriate mix of legislative and other measures to give effect to this policy over the coming Parliament.
Latest News from
Lord Nash appointed as Government’s lead Non-Executive Director03/08/2020 11:33:00
The Prime Minister has appointed Lord Nash as the Government's lead Non-Executive Director.
Office for Veterans' Affairs marks one year since creation30/07/2020 12:20:00
An opinion piece from Johnny Mercer, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, to mark one year since the establishment of the Office for Veterans' Affairs. The article was originally published by the Telegraph.
Applications open for £50 million funding to boost UK customs intermediaries30/07/2020 11:10:00
HMRC is encouraging customs intermediaries and traders who make their own declarations to take advantage of the funding now.
New Director of Infrastructure, Enterprise and Growth joins the IPA29/07/2020 09:20:00
Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) appoints Jon Loveday as new Director of Infrastructure, Enterprise and Growth.
Cabinet Secretary lecture at The Blavatnik School of Government28/07/2020 15:38:00
Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill's public lecture at The University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government (27 July 2020).
Disabled people exempt from wearing face coverings under new government guidance24/07/2020 15:10:00
Government has set out a list of face covering exemptions, as they are mandatory in additional enclosed spaces from today (Friday 24 July).
UK Government launches consultation on 2025 Border Strategy23/07/2020 09:20:00
Government launches consultation on the 2025 Border Strategy, which will set out our vision for world’s most effective border by 2025
Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) forum launches this month22/07/2020 08:10:00
The Disability Unit has established a new Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) Forum to strengthen its engagement with disabled people.