Trade Bill - Committee (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 21st January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Purvis of Tweed Lord Purvis of Tweed Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (International Trade) 6:15 pm, 21st January 2019

I am grateful for the Minister’s indulgence. I was also referring to existing agreements. For example, the only one so far that the Government have announced, with Switzerland, has accompanying it a free movement of people agreement, with Chapter 4 and Article 23 guaranteeing the right of movement of Swiss nationals for three months a year without any visa checks and so on. We would have no such ability. The proposal is at odds with the immigration White Paper—it is at odds with what the Government are saying. It raises questions about whether this simply is a straightforward replication. Under the free movement of people agreement, other elements have been discontinued in the existing arrangements and some elements are being continued. It is simply not good enough for the Government to state that these continuity agreements are a like-for-like cut and paste job, which is what the Government used to say. We now know that they are complex. We now know, for example—this was the case even with the Swiss agreement before December—that there are potential issues affecting other domestic law on immigration and migration which we would have no ability to scrutinise properly and separately if we used the CRaG process.