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22/08/14 16:18

Advice against trade with illegal settlements

Trade with companies active in illegal settlements is ‘strongly discouraged’.

The Scottish Government strongly discourages trade with illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, External Affairs Minister Humza Yousaf said today.

The Scottish Government has today published guidance for public purchasers on dealing with companies that may be involved in illegal Israeli settlements. This guidance will be embedded within statutory guidance under the new Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

Mr Yousaf said:

“The Scottish Government strongly discourages trade with companies active in Israeli settlements which are recognised as illegal under international law.

“The exploitation of assets in illegal settlements by any company is likely to constitute “grave professional misconduct” for the purposes of procurement legislation.

“This government expects public sector contractors to maintain high standards of business and professional conduct. The policy note we have issued today underlines that expectation and advises purchasers to seek assurances that any Israeli-based company they consider entering into a contract with, is not in any way involved in illegal settlements.

“Contracting authorities are also advised to seek assurances that any goods they are looking to procure which originate in Israel have not been produced in illegal settlements.”

Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener of the Church & Society Council of the Church of Scotland, said:

“The illegal settlements are a barrier to a lasting peace in the region. We therefore welcome this guidance as one of the small but important ways we in Scotland can work towards that peace.”

Notes to editors

The Scottish Procurement Policy Note was published on Friday 22 August at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/Procurement/policy/SPPNSSPANS/policy-notes/SPPN2014/SPPN42014

The Scottish Procurement Policy Note is in line with advice published by the Foreign Commonwealth Office at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/overseas-business-risk-israel/overseas-business-risk-israel