t: 020 7219 8155 e: fieldm@parliament.uk

Chagos Islands

April 6, 2010

Oral Question on 06/04/2010

Given that the Minister has called the treatment of the Chagossians ‘shameful’, does he not understand the concerns reiterated on his side of the House by the hon. Member for Vauxhall (Kate Hoey) that this is being rushed through in double-quick time? That will lead many – and not just the usual suspects – to suspect that the government are using the environmental issue as a fig leaf for the continued abuse of these human rights.

Answered by Chris Bryant

I have to underline for the hon. Gentleman that the environmental issues are very significant. The tuna that pass through the British Indian Ocean Territory feed many people across the east coast of Africa. Those supplies are being rapidly diminished. We need a no-take policy across the area. There are many other elements of biodiversity on the islands that we need to protect but the decision on the islands that we need to protect, but the decision has nothing to do with the rights or otherwise of the Chagossians to live on the islands.