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Welsh MP urges UK Government not to block bill aimed at seizing frozen Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine

24 Feb 2023 2 minute read
Chris Bryant speaking in the House of Commons

A Welsh MP has urged the UK Government not to block his Bill aimed at seizing frozen Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine.

Raising a point of order at the start of a Friday sitting, Rhondda MP Sir Chris Bryant told the Commons: “As you know, my private member’s Bill entitled the Seizure of Russian State Assets and Support for Ukraine is up potentially for its second reading later on today.

“As I understand it, the Government is toying – but hasn’t perhaps made a final decision on this – with objecting. If a single person objects, then it doesn’t go forward for its second reading today.”

He added: “I gather that the Government’s briefing to the press overnight says that the reason that they might object is because it is not suitable for such a measure to be introduced in a private member’s Bill, even though it has cross-party support from lots of Conservative members and chairs of two prominent select committees, both of whom are Conservatives.”

Sir Chris called on the Deputy Speaker to clarify the Bill was “perfectly in order” and that such Bills had been used to introduce similar measures in the past.

Deputy Commons Speaker Dame Rosie Winterton said the Bill was “orderly” and added: “It is not appropriate for me to offer a view about whether a private member’s Bill is an appropriate vehicle for his objectives, that is a matter for the House. But I can confirm that such Bills have been used for a variety of purposes as he describes and obviously we will wait to see what happens later.”

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