Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Wednesday, 27 April 2011 16:44 UK

Ten Minute Rule Bill

A government department which supports British business projects overseas must do more to protect human rights and the environment, Labour MP Lisa Nandy has said.

Urging MPs to back her ten minute rule bill on 27 April 2011, the MP for Wigan claimed that the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) was "woefully under-scrutinised".

The ECGD insures British exporters against non-payment by their overseas buyers and guarantees bank loans to help overseas businesses purchase goods from UK suppliers.

But Ms Nandy said many of the projects it supports with taxpayers' money were "neither sustainable nor accountable" and could be "incredibly damaging" to the local population.

Her Export Credits Guarantee Department (Regulation and Reporting) Bill would force the ECGD to publish a list of all the deals it backs and prevent it from supporting ventures managed by people who have been convicted of corruption within the past five years.

The department should also boost support for smaller and more environmentally friendly businesses wanting to trade overseas, Ms Nandy argued.

Her bill has the support of a cross-party group of 130 MPs and gained an unopposed first reading, but is unlikely to make further progress without government support.

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