I beg to move,
That the draft European Union (Definition of Treaties) (Canada Trade Agreement) Order 2018, which was laid before this House on
I am delighted that we have the opportunity once again to debate the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between the EU and Canada, known as CETA, and that this is taking place on the Floor of this House. This follows on from the thorough and constructive debate last year and the overwhelming support shown by the full House in a subsequent deferred Division. I note that a majority of those on the Labour Benches who voted in that Division chose rightly to vote in favour of the agreement, and I hope they will continue to do so, because this debate comes at a crucial point in world trade, with the potentially destructive rise in protectionist sentiments.
Free trade is the means by which we have collectively taken millions of people out of abject poverty in the last generation, and we must not put that progress into reverse. We should also realise that trade is not an end in itself, but a means to widen shared prosperity. That prosperity underpins social cohesion and, in turn, political stability. That political stability, in turn, is the building block of our collective security. To interrupt the flow of prosperity is to risk creating a torrent of instability. We have an opportunity today to reaffirm Britain’s commitment to the principles of free trade and the application of an international rules-based system.