Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from
the Head of the Parliamentary Relations and Devolution Department,
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 18 October 2002
In my letter of 23 July, I enclosed a copy of
the telegram Michael Jay issued on 18 February 2002. We have since
considered with British Trade International whether further guidance
should be provided to Posts to ensure they are aware of and follow
the guidelines already in place.
As Sir John Stanley acknowledged at the evidence
session with the Committee, general guidelines from London cannot
cover all eventualities. They provide a framework. If there are
grounds for concern or areas of uncertainty, however, only consultation
with London can establish whether it would be appropriate to give
official support having regard for UK commercial, economic and
foreign policy interests. For this reason, Ministers have concluded
that additional guidance would not materially help our Posts.
The existing guidelines (of which I enclose a copy)
and Michael Jay's telegram provide clear advice to Postscrucially
that, if in any doubt, they should consult London direct for advice.
Parliamentary Relations & Devolution Department
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
18 October 2002
24 See Annex A. Back