Steel Safeguards

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:43 pm on 29th June 2022.

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Photo of Anthony Mangnall Anthony Mangnall Conservative, Totnes 12:43 pm, 29th June 2022

I never thought that being a free trader would be such a unique and rare position in the Conservative party. I am fully supportive of supporting the steel industry, but not through protectionist measures. What message does it send to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan or any other country with which we are signing a free trade agreement when we cite national interests above the agreements we have signed?

We have invited the Secretary of State to come before the International Trade Committee eight times to discuss the Australia free trade agreement. She says she could not appear this morning, which I accept, but guess what? We are seeing the TRA this afternoon. Why does she not join us to discuss the Australia agreement and these measures in full? There must be parliamentary scrutiny, but we are not having it. When we come to it, I urge all colleagues to reject the Australia free trade agreement and to extend the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 process for a further 21 days.