EU Trade Agreements: Replication

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:55 pm on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Liam Fox Liam Fox The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade 12:55 pm, 13th February 2019

I am grateful for the way in which the hon. Lady continues to press the importance of this issue; it is a view that I share. We set out in our legislation that we would publish the text at the point of signature, not at the point of initialling, and that is what this House ultimately voted for. We also said that we would publish the explanatory memorandum, and that we would set out differences between the original agreement and any changes in a statement, given that the original agreement was already scrutinised by this Parliament when it was introduced as an EU agreement. The hon. Lady raises an important point, however, about future trade agreements that were not covered in the Trade Bill; and following the completion of the Government consultation, I will set out the processes by which we will ensure that both Houses of Parliament are able to get active and real-time scrutiny of the future trade agreements.