British MPs support recognition of Palestine


Over 60 British MPs from across seven political parties have signed a parliamentary motion supporting UN recognition of Palestine.

The MPs signed the motion after the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared his intention to ask the UN General Assembly to recognise Palestine as a non-member state when the General Assembly meets between 24 September and 1 October.

The motion, tabled by Richard Burden MP, has been signed by 61 MPs so far including former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and other former ministers from both Labour and Conservative governments. It says: “That this House supports recognition by the UN of Palestine as a state alongside the state of Israel.”

The motion has received the support of MPs from seven political parties: Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, SDLP and SNP.

Richard Burden MP, Chair of the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, said:

“Time after time British ministers have declared their support in theory for a two-state solution in the Middle East. But this is make your mind up time about whether they mean it in practice.

“Many MPs found it inexplicable that when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sought recognition of Palestine as a state at the UN Security Council last year, Britain sat on our hands and abstained. At the time, the Foreign Secretary said that different considerations would apply to a vote at the UN General Assembly. So I just don’t think abstention should be an option if, as seems likely, a vote takes place at the General Assembly later this month.

“Israel is recognised as a full member of the United Nations, with internationally recognised borders delineated by the green line. If recognition is so fundamental in respect of Israel, what is the problem with the UN recognising Palestine as requested by the Palestinian people, with borders delineated by that same green line?

“It is time to help level the playing field. An independent and recognised state of Israel alongside an independent and recognised state of Palestine. Both people realising their legitimate right to self-determination.”

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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