EU Court throws out deal to exploit Western Sahara resources
The EU Court yesterday dealt a heavy blow to Morocco by declaring invalid moves to include Western Saharan resources within a trade deal between the EU and Rabat. The court also acknowledged Polisario to be "recognised internationally as a representative of the people of Western Sahara".
The court ruled that the EU deal with the occupying power broke international law because the consent of the Saharawi people was not given to the trade agreement which would have treated Western Saharan resources as if they were Moroccan. It also ruled that it would have been possible to seek the consent of the Saharawis.
This judgement will be met with dismay by those governments and companies within the EU that promote and conduct the theft of Saharawi resources. And it may have further repercussions. At the beginning of this year, the UK government enacted a trade agreement with Morocco that mirrors the now-discredited EU deal. The Western Sahara Campaign has successfully applied for judicial review of that agreement, with the case due to be heard next year. While the UK is no longer subject to the EU Court, having left the EU, there can be no doubt that the 29 September judgement will be noted in London, and that the prospects for overturning the inclusion of Western Saharan resources in the UK-Morocco trade deal have been further strengthened.
You can read the EU Court statement on the judgement here.
WESTERN SAHARA CAMPAIGN UK
The Western Sahara Campaign works in solidarity with the Saharawi people to generate political support in order to advance their right to self-determination and to promote their human rights.
Our role is to lobby the UK Government and the EU. You can help us to ensure the UK does not ignore the voice of the Saharawi people.
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