Editor’s Letter

Don’t expect the UK government to speak up about human rights in Qatar before the World Cup

Trade between the UK and Qatar is worth around £5bn annually and ties are growing ever closer, writes David Harding

Wednesday 17 November 2021 00:01
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<p>The construction site of the Al Bayt Stadium, and the workers’ accommodation, in Doha, Qatar, from 2017</p>

The construction site of the Al Bayt Stadium, and the workers’ accommodation, in Doha, Qatar, from 2017

Now the qualification is over, the protests can begin.

With England definitely going to next year’s Qatar World Cup, and Scotland and Wales possibly following, the calls for action against the Gulf state and its dire human rights record have begun. Britian’s government is unlikely to join in.

Trade between the UK and Qatar is worth around £5bn annually and ties are growing ever closer. Earlier this month, Britain approached Qatar for a long-term gas deal – Qatar is a gas superpower – and Doha is so important to Britain’s energy security that a former government adviser once said if anything bad happened to Qatar, Britain “would be up s*** creek, we really would”.

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