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Global Britain

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:43 pm on 30th January 2020.

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Photo of Conor Burns Conor Burns The Minister of State, Department for International Trade 4:43 pm, 30th January 2020

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I have no doubt that as well as being a vocal and articulate champion for Peterborough, he will promote the service sector in the UK economy, as he has just done so effectively.

I will endeavour to reply to the specific points raised in the debate. The shadow Minister criticised the Government for our interaction with Parliament in future agreements. We are going to publish an outline for each negotiation that includes objectives and scoping assessments, as well as an explanatory memorandum. The shadow Secretary of State constantly talks about us having an ineffective trade remedy system. The simple repetition of something does not make it true. We are going to have a tough regime, learning from international best practice.

I promised to come back to the shadow Secretary of State on the situation in Western Sahara. The UK-Morocco agreement will apply in the same way as the EU-Morocco agreement, having been amended to comply with the European Court of Justice judgment on the issue; that is a critical point. He also raised the question of bribery and corruption in the provision of UK Export Finance. UK Export Finance always carries out anti-bribery due diligence before providing any support at all.

I promise that I did not put him up to it, but my hon. Friend Andrew Griffith said that we needed greater resource and more trade commissioners. He made that point very well indeed, and I hope it is heard. It would be inappropriate for me to endorse it, but—what is the old saying?—“He might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.”