Approval of negotiating mandates (devolved authorities)

Trade Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:44 pm on 17th July 2018.

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Votes in this debate

  • Division number 217
    A majority of MPs voted against requiring approval of the United Kingdom's negotiating aims for international trade agreements from the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

“(1) No negotiation towards an agreement that falls within section 2(2) shall take place unless—

(a) a draft negotiating mandate in respect of that agreement has been laid before—

(i) a committee including representatives from each devolved authority and constituted for the purpose of considering the draft, and

(ii) each devolved legislature,

and

(b) the draft negotiating mandate has been approved by resolution of—

(i) the committee constituted under (1)(a)(i) and

(ii) each devolved legislature.

(2) The committee in (1) shall be called the “Joint Ministerial Committee on Trade” (“JMCT”) and—

(a) may not approve a draft mandate other than by consensus,

(b) shall have the power to make its own standing orders,

(c) may include a Minister of the Crown or representative thereof,

(d) may be consulted on a draft mandate before it is finalised (but in such a case must also approve the finalised version), and

(e) shall only include a representative of a devolved authority if that representative has been appointed by the relevant devolved executive.

(3) The “devolved legislatures” are—

(a) the Scottish Parliament,

(b) the Welsh Assembly, and

(c) the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(4) The devolved legislatures shall approve the draft mandate according to their own standing orders.

(5) If the negotiating mandate changes substantively during the process of negotiations then negotiations shall not proceed until the revised mandate has been approved by the JMCT.

(6) Each person who is—

(a) a member of the JMCT, or

(b) a Minister of the Crown

must co-operate with every other person who is within subsection (a), or (b) in any activity that relates to the drafting of a negotiating mandate as referred to in subsection (1).

(7) In particular, the duty imposed by subsection (6) requires a person—

(a) to engage constructively, actively, and on an ongoing basis in any process by means of which a negotiating mandate as referred to in subsection (1) is prepared; and

(b) to have regard to representations by any member of the JMCT or of a devolved executive in any process by means of which a negotiating mandate as referred to in subsection (1) is prepared.

(8) The “devolved executives” are—

(a) the Scottish Government,

(b) the Welsh Government, and

(c) the Northern Ireland Executive.”—(Stewart Hosie.)

This new clause would ensure that any negotiating mandate is first approved by the devolved legislatures and creates a joint ministerial committee to encourage co-operation between the devolved administrations and the UK Government in drafting the negotiating mandates. It imposes a duty of co-operation on all parties in the preparation of the negotiating mandate.

Brought up, and read the First time.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

The House divided:

Ayes 37, Noes 316.

Division number 217 Trade Bill — New Clause 20 — Approval of Negotiating Mandates — Devolved Administrations — International Trade Agreements

A majority of MPs voted against requiring approval of the United Kingdom's negotiating aims for international trade agreements from the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Aye: 36 MPs

No: 315 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 294 MPs

Abstained: 1 MP

Absents: A-Z by last name

Abstaineds: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly negatived.

Clause 2