EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

Part of Food Advertising (Protection of Children from Targeting) – in the House of Commons at 3:58 pm on 26th June 2018.

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Photo of Iain Stewart Iain Stewart Conservative, Milton Keynes South 3:58 pm, 26th June 2018

I add my warm congratulations to my hon. Friend, the Minister for Trade Policy, on his new position. Next week, as chairman of the all-party group on smart cities, I will make a keynote speech at a smart technology event, hosted jointly by the Department for International Trade, the embassy of Japan, the Japan Bank for International Co-operation and the Japan External Trade Organisation. This conference will explore the new investment and trade opportunities in the field of smart cities and smart technology—a field in which the United Kingdom is one of the world leaders.

I mention that because, in addition to the existing strong trade and investment links between the UK and Japan that many Members have referenced, this new technology, which will generate much of the wealth that we will need in the future, offers an enormous new level of co-operation between our two countries. The EPA that we are debating will provide a very strong platform from which to develop these new trading and investment links. As I said in the CETA debate, I wonder what is the opportunity cost to this country of not ratifying the agreement—what investment will be lost, what jobs will not be created, what deals will not be done? We must ratify the agreement to make it clear that the UK is an outward-facing, liberal, free trade-supporting country. I support the motion.