I’ve supported Somaliland’s case for recognition since I was first elected to Parliament in 2005 and I am currently the Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Somaliland. A country that holds its own elections, issues its own passports and conducts its own foreign relations should be internationally recognised as a nation-state.

This is long overdue – it’s now 31 years since calls for statehood began – so I’m pleased that Gavin Williamson MP raised the issue in the Commons yesterday evening.

Until Somaliland is afforded official recognition it will continue to be denied access to financial institutions, cutting it off from vital routes to aid and investment. The UK Government must now take the initiative. As I asked the Minister in the clip: ‘will he step up? If we will not be the first [to recognise Somaliland], could he find someone who will be?’

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