EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

Part of Food Advertising (Protection of Children from Targeting) – in the House of Commons at 3:01 pm on 26th June 2018.

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Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade 3:01 pm, 26th June 2018

I will make a little progress, Madam Deputy Speaker, because I know that you want to encourage other Members to speak.

The automotive industry offers the clearest indication of the issues posed by the EU’s deal with Japan. The EU-Japan EPA will, for example, remove the 10% tariff that currently applies to all car imports into the UK from Japan, which will—again, according to the Government’s figures—result in a £2.8 billion surge in Japanese car imports into the UK. That will have significant implications for the future viability of our domestic automotive sector and the thousands of jobs attached to it. But this is precisely where the Government’s assessment is so hopelessly unsatisfactory. It fails to ask the real questions as to what the long-term impacts on the UK car industry might be when we remove the existing 10% tariffs on Japanese car imports. This question is clearly of the utmost importance when it comes to safeguarding jobs in the UK auto industry, as there will no longer be a trade incentive to maintain Japanese investment in precisely the way in which my hon. Friends the Members for Newcastle upon Tyne North (Catherine McKinnell) and for Crewe and Nantwich (Laura Smith) mentioned earlier.