The Welsh government has deferred a decision on its boycott proposal, following UKLFI’S warning that their actions would be illegal.
As previously posted, the Welsh Government informed the Welsh Parliament on 11 August 2020 that it intended to issue advice to all Welsh public authorities that they may exclude from tendering any company that conducts business with occupied territories, whether directly or via third parties, “including with Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory”.
UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) warned the devolved Welsh Government in a letter of 21 August 2020 that this would be illegal for a series of reasons.
The Welsh Government said in September that the issue of the advice was “imminent”.
However, they have now written to UKLFI stating “We are seeking further independent legal advice on what is a contested issue to enable us to come to a balanced view. Hence, we will write to you in response to the concerns, as set out in your letter of 21 August, and detailing our intentions in early December before any advice is published”.
The Welsh Government has also been warned by US Attorney and Executive Director of the Zionist Advocacy Center, David Abrams, that if the threatened requirements are imposed, companies engaging in public contracts in both Wales and the USA would be exposed to large claims in the US and would have to choose between the two jurisdictions.
Jonathan Turner, UKLFI Chief Executive, said: “We are confident that our legal analysis is correct and hope the Welsh government will take a correct decision that will avoid unnecessary litigation.”