In December the European Parliament passed a resolution from Geoffrey Van Orden, the Conservative Defence spokesman. It condemned the "deliberate neglect and misgovernance that is destabilising Zimbabwe" and called for UN sanctions against Robert Mugabe and his cronies.
Today in Brussels foreign ministers from the EU are meeting to finalise plans to add 28 people and 36 companies to a list of 167 Mugabe associates who are banned from travelling to the EU. The list is expected to include European companies, which is unprecedented.
Mr Van Orden comments:
"Given the appalling situation in Zimbabwe, stronger sanctions against Mugabe and those keeping him in power are necessary. I welcome the EU measures but they must be rigorously implemented. Too often the EU pays lip service to tough action and then finds every way possible to evade its own measures.
More importantly we must get other southern African countries, particularly South Africa, to disown Mugabe and insist that he steps down. Zimbabwe’s neighbours are the key to the desperate change that is needed. It is the greatest moral stain on Africa that so many leaders have applauded Mugabe or stood quietly by while the Zimbabwean people have been systematically brutalised and starved.
It is a sad comment on Britain’s standing at this time, and the poverty of its foreign policy, that the Government is unable to persuade Commonwealth African countries, in particular, to take the right action over Mugabe."