- From: SCULLY, Paul <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: Help end the Open University bar on Cuban students
- Date: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 12:17
Paul Scully MP
To: SCULLY, Paul
Subject: Help end the Open University bar on Cuban students
From: Adrian Wyles – Sutton and Cheam
Dear Paul Scully ,
I am writing to draw your attention to the Open University’s policy of barring applications from Cuban students, and to ask you to intervene urgently to end this discriminatory and illegal policy.
The Open University has recently confirmed in writing that they operate a policy to bar applications from Cuban students. In a letter, dated 24 April 2017, they say the policy is in place to avoid repercussions from US blockade legislation and claim to be “taking necessary precautions to meet with regulation and protect both itself and its employees. Those steps include the OU not trading with those countries impacted by what is often called US ‘comprehensive’ sanctions and embargoes.”
This policy is illegal under UK anti discrimination laws as set out in the 2010 Equality Act as it is being indiscriminately applied to students of a particular nationality. By taking this action the OU is also seemingly complying with US blockade legislation over and above UK equality laws.
The British Government has powers enshrined in its own ‘antidote’ law, the Protection of Trading Interests Order passed in 1996, to counter the effects of extra-territorial blockade laws by penalising British companies who comply with US legislation before UK law.
Please will you raise this issue with the British government and ask it to invoke the 1996 Protection of Trading Interests Act to pressure the Open University to end their discriminatory policy against Cuban students. Please will you also write to Open University’s Secretary Keith Zimmerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask the organisation to abide by UK equalities law which bar discrimination on the grounds of nationality.