Trade move row

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A NORTH East politican has condemned the approval of a trade upgrade between Europe and Israel.

MEP Stephen Hughes spoke out after the move was backed by a vote in a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Mr Hughes said: “Unfortunately, the right-wing groups in the Parliament voted to bring in this trade upgrade at a time when rewarding Israel through our trade policy is hugely inappropriate.

“It’s particularly inappropriate to give Israel easier access to the EU for pharmaceutical products while Palestinians are denied access to medicine under the blockade,.

“Israel’s collective punishment of Gaza and the continuing expansion of the settlements are utterly unacceptable.

“Approving this Protocol is incompatible with recent European Parliament and EU declarations denouncing Israeli activity in the Occupied Territories.”