UK is lacking out on huge Brexit alternative due to Foreign Office ‘pigheadedness’ | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Brexiteers imagine that “pigheadedness” within the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is denying the UK Brexit alternatives, notably round a decades-long controversy in North Africa.

Senior Conservative politicians are pressuring Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron to alter UK coverage and recognise Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara area.

Currently, the UK doesn’t recognise Morocco’s declare to the autonomous area which it has centuries-old hyperlinks with and laid declare to since 1975 when Spain gave up its Sahara colony.

Several different nations together with Germany and Israel have recognised Morocco’s declare to the area however the deadlock is proving to be a significant block to a commerce deal for the UK which may open up huge Brexit commerce alternatives.

One MP instructed “I’m afraid this is yet another example of Foreign Office pigheadedness. Refusing to reconsider out-of-date diplomatic positions even though they are clearly harming British interests.”

Among those that are publicly backing Morocco’s declare is Lord Hannan, the main Tory Brexiteer who now leads the Institute for Free Trade.

He has described the big alternatives which can be found for the UK if it could possibly strike a brand new commerce take care of Morocco, a plan which was backed by Boris Johnson.

Lord Hannan mentioned: “Not just scrapping tariffs but creating a digital corridor between Tangier and our ports to reduce paperwork, facilitating investment into the special zones that Morocco is happy to offer exclusively to Britain, and ensuring that our trade policy what we de facto accept (to the fury of Corbynistas), namely Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara.”

He famous that Morocco has made a deliberate effort to achieve out to Britain and break its hyperlinks with the French-speaking world together with now making English a obligatory topic in colleges.

Morocco was a French colony till the Fifties however after its earthquake final yr selected the UK, not France as its worldwide support associate in an indication of the place it sees its diplomatic priorities.

Former Defence Secretary Sir Liam Fox lately led a delegation over to Morocco supporting the plans for a brand new commerce deal and the UK to alter place on the Western Sahara.

He has written to Lord Cameron urging him to interrupt the deadlock.

He mentioned: “I reminded Lord Cameron, who is a friend and whose government I was a member of when he was Prime Minister, of Morocco’s importance on the multilateral stage, both politically and economically.”

Sir Liam added: “Morocco is a priority country for the UK in economic, commercial and foreign policy terms.”

Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski mentioned: “I raised questions within our parliament to know when we will recognize the Moroccan Sahara as an integral part of the Kingdom of Morocco.”

He added: “Morocco is a very important ally [for the UK].”

The dispute is being fueled by resistance from the far-left Polisario Front supported by folks like former Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn within the UK.

The separatist group is supported by Morocco’s regional rival Algeria.

After periodic outbreaks of preventing the UN arrange its Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara in 1991.

Experts have famous that Morocco has made efforts to put money into the Western Sahara area and submitted an autonomy plan to the UN in 2007 which was backed by the US in 2020.

Retired basic Sir Simon Mayall, the Ministry of Defence’s Middle East adviser, lately instructed Royal United Sservices Institute (RUSI): “The Moroccan Autonomy Plan for Western Sahara remains the only credible, lasting, realistic and constructive solution to the Western Sahara conflict.”

Addressing attainable considerations within the FCDO, he added: “The UK’s own principles with regard to self-determination and its overseas territories will in no way be compromised by UK government support for Morocco’s initiative. The UK should support Morocco’s Autonomy Plan for Western Sahara.”