I thank the hon. and learned Lady for giving way, and I have been listening carefully to her submissions. The question of purpose is dealt with in the National Audit Office report, which states that the decision was meant
“to prioritise the flow of critical goods into the UK”.
Specifically, the report says that in September and October 2018, the intention was to
“‘ensure that capacity and flexibility exists for government to prioritise the flow’
In November 2018, the Department’s business case was
“to ensure that capacity and flexibility exist for government to enable the prioritisation of…certain goods”.
It seems to me that critical goods were always in the mind of the Department, so I am not sure that her submissions to the House are borne out.