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Trade Bill - Committee (2nd Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:42 pm on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Fox Lord Fox Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 8:42 pm, 23rd January 2019

My Lords, I thank the noble Lords, Lord Stevenson and Lord Lansley, for bringing this issue to your Lordships’ House. We support greatly the spirit on these Benches. The noble Lord, Lord Lansley, used a contemporary example of rice. In another life a long time ago, I worked in the sugar industry for seven years. Of course, sugar is wrapped into this so deep that it is still embedded in there. On his point about the transition from us being part of a European scheme to going into a wholly United Kingdom scheme, I know that the pressure on that commodity alone would be huge, given the past relationships and previous problems that some sugar-producing countries have had within the European regime. That is just one commodity. His point is clear: that this is not a simple issue but one that requires a great deal of thought, but that thought must be had and is worth having. We support this process and will involve ourselves if necessary in how this gets taken forward. Clearly, we want to be part of a future regime that has these objectives, but the means with which to produce that are not necessarily as simple as they might look on first appearance.