You are on page 1of 2
THE RT HON JEREMY CORBYN MP LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION HOUSE OF COMMONS LONDON SWIA 0AA The Rt Hon Theresa May MP 01 May 2019 Prime Minister 10 Downing Street London SW1A20A Dear Prime Minister, | am writing to follow up on the Written Statement made by the Minister of State, Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan MP today on the British Indian Ocean Territory. | wish to express my concern that the government appears ready to disregard international law and ignore a ruling of the International Court of Justice and the right of Chagossians to return to their homes. You will be aware that the International Court of Justice decisively rejects the government's claim that it had not unlewfully colonised the Chagos Archipelago. It concluded that the Chagos Archipelago is an integral part of Mauritius, that its purported excision in 1965 was without legal effect, and that the UK administration must now be terminated as rapidly as possible. The Advisory Opinion is addressed to the UN General Assembly, which | understand is expected to adopt a resolution in May 2019 to implement its clear conclusions. To ignore the Advisory Opinion will set the UK against the entire continent of Africa, and dozens of other countries from all continents which supported Mauritius at the General Assembly and before the Court, including India, Brazil and many Commonwealth countries. The Minister's statement suggests the UK-US defence facility on Diego Garcia helps to keep people in Britain and around the world safe. Yet Mauritius, recognised as a valued friend and trading partner, has publicly accepted the future operation of the base in accordance with international law. ‘The Advisory Opinion recognises the right of Chagossians to return to their homes on Chagos, and Mauritius has committed to allowing them to return. The position adopted by the UK will prevent that from happening and will exacerbate an already dire violation of fundamental human rights. Itremains the fact that Chagossians, now a group of elderly people, some of whom I have had the privilege to meat, were thrown out of their birthplace many decades ago and want to go home. Labour supports the rule of law both at home and abroad, the IC) and the United Nations, and is committed to respecting the Advisory Opinion in full, so as to ensure that Chagossians are able to return to their homes, | urge the government to cooperate with the government of Mauritius and do the same. ook forward to receiving your reply. Yours sincerely, —— Dt Ona a A YD [ \ : : at Jeremy Corbyn MP Leader of the Opposition Copied to: The Office of the United Nations Secretary General; & The Office of the Mauritian Ambassador to the UK