Trade Bill - Committee (1st Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:30 pm on 21st January 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Hooper Baroness Hooper Conservative 9:30 pm, 21st January 2019

My Lords, I fully accept the Government’s assurances in relation to this group of amendments that there is absolutely no intention to lower standards and that the existing protections for consumers will be preserved. However, as has been shown in the discussions so far, there is a cause for concern. While the British Government intend to roll over the agreements without making any change, there is some uncertainty about whether the other parties with which we will be negotiating have the same point of view. The issues have been discussed sufficiently for me not to repeat what has been said, but I suggest that there are a couple of safeguards which have not been mentioned.

The global demand for British goods is based on our high standards. People buy British goods not because they are cheap but because of their high quality. Therefore, to disregard food standards would undermine any possibilities in that area. I understand that the EU withdrawal Act ensures that all existing EU environmental law will continue to operate in UK law. That again provides businesses and stakeholders with certainty.