Clause 4 - Multi-annual financial assistance plans

Part of Agriculture Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 12th October 2020.

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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 6:15 pm, 12th October 2020

I am afraid that the Trade and Agriculture Commission is not within my gift; it is a matter for the Department for International Trade whether the work and life of that commission is extended. Further to the point of order made earlier about our inability to discuss Lords amendment 18 this evening, there is no need for any amendment to the Bill in order to set up or continue the Trade and Agriculture Commission. It was done without any need for legislation, and it will be perfectly possible and proper for Members to talk to the Secretary of State for International Trade if they wish the commission to continue.

The commission was set up with a fixed term and a tight scope, which was a deliberate decision, to avoid duplication of the work of the agencies and other groups that I have just set out. It was set up in order to feed directly into our trade negotiations with the US, Australia and New Zealand. We remain open to listening to any concerns about the operation of the commission and will continue to co-operate with DIT to ensure that it meets expectations.