Approval of draft decisions under Article 352 of TFEU

Part of European Union (Approvals) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 10th October 2017.

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Photo of Andrew Bowie Andrew Bowie Conservative, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine 5:45 pm, 10th October 2017

Each application has to be looked at in its own individual context. It is obviously not for me or this House to decide where each state is in terms of its candidate status, but for the Council of the European Union. I know that that is going through at this very moment.

The third and fourth decisions of the EU Council are necessary to implement a co-operation agreement between the European Union and Canada on competition enforcement. Canada is one of the United Kingdom’s oldest and closest partners: we have been allies in conflicts for over a century and we have a shared past, strong family links and shared values. As if to underline that closeness, Canadian and British troops, as well as European and other NATO service personnel, are working closely, side by side, as part of Exercise Joint Warrior along the north coast of Scotland. It is because of this closeness, and our shared history and values, that many in this House and beyond find it so frustrating that it has taken over eight years for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement to be agreed between the European Union and Canada. Even then, it almost came unstuck due to the complex internal machinations of Wallonian politics—I was going to make a comment about unchecked devolution, but I have thought better of it. I just wonder whether a UK-Canada free trade deal might take a slightly shorter time.