Trade Dispute Mechanisms

Exiting the European Union – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th January 2017.

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Photo of Vicky Foxcroft Vicky Foxcroft Opposition Whip (Commons) 12:00 am, 26th January 2017

What assessment he has made, as part of his Department’s plans for negotiations on the UK leaving the EU, of the potential merits of different forms of trade dispute mechanisms with the EU.

Photo of David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

We recognise that the large majority of trade agreements involve some form of dispute resolution or enforcement mechanism, and there are a range of models for dispute resolution mechanisms in international trade agreements. We have been clear that we will bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the United Kingdom. The dispute resolution mechanisms adopted as part of our future trading relationship with the EU and other international parties will be a matter for negotiation.

Photo of Vicky Foxcroft Vicky Foxcroft Opposition Whip (Commons)

The Prime Minister has said that she wants a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU and that, in future, our laws will be interpreted by British judges in British courts, but every comprehensive free trade agreement has some sort of independent trade dispute resolution mechanism. Does the Secretary of State agree that this sort of inconsistency needs to be ironed out by rigorous parliamentary scrutiny of the Prime Minister’s plan?

Photo of David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

It is not an inconsistency but a lack of understanding on the part of the Opposition. As I have said, there are a range of models and a large number of international trade agreements with arbitration mechanisms, but they are just that. They are agreed arbitration mechanisms; they are not mechanisms that bring the influence of the European Court into all parts of British society—that is what is going to be resolved by leaving the European Union.