Following that speech, I will return to the subject we are discussing. I thank the shadow Secretary of State for her generous words and her accurate quotation. None of us actually believed the process would take quite as long as it did when we began. On the point of order made by my hon. Friend the Member for Wealden (Ms Ghani), I am extremely distressed that she should feel frightened by the intervention of a foreign power in her actions in the House of Commons. Given the level of cyber-intrusion in the United Kingdom in general, it is perhaps something we should all be afraid of.
There are three brief reasons why I support the Government’s position, and I have set them out before. First, I do not believe we should make generic law on the basis of specific cases. The history of our legislation is littered with victims of unintended consequences, which come about when we make law in that way. We should have specific actions for specific issues, such as the actions set out by the Foreign Secretary today on the atrocious way the Chinese treat the Uyghurs. That is the appropriate way to proceed.
Secondly, I believe that the House can vote down any free trade agreement through the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 process. If a preferential free trade agreement with China was proposed that gave China greater access to the United Kingdom market than it would have under World Trade Organisation regulations, we would already have the ability to block it; but I do not believe, for a range of reasons, that we are likely to see that any time soon. The trade conditions, never mind the human rights conditions, mean that is not going to happen.
Thirdly, I do not believe we should restrict the right of the elected Government and the House of Commons to implement policies on which a Government were elected. That is the point of principle that I have raised in every single debate we have had on this issue. The House of Commons should reject unwarranted intrusion, whether by an unelected Lords Committee of senior judges or the courts, on to the rights of democratically elected Governments to implement the policies on which they have been elected. This House should not put limits on what they can do, or, moreover, allow elements outside the House of Commons to do so. That would set a constitutional precedent that we would come to regret in time, whatever the good reason was for considering those changes.