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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 Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe Conservative 8:42 pm, 23rd January 2019

With the GSP, the key thing is who benefits. In the past, some quite surprising people have benefited who perhaps do not benefit any longer, such as Mexico, Chile, South Korea and so on, which are now very rich countries. India was in there for a long time. It is important who is on the list.

I have some sympathy with the points made by my noble friend Lord Lansley. If we leave the EU, I believe that we should have more choice in which countries we help with tariff preferences. We should be able to take a more independent view, with an eye to our own history—for example, of the Commonwealth—and not necessarily just copy out the EU list. Obviously it depends on where we finally end up in our relationship with the EU, and I do not want to go into that, but if we end up having a certain amount of independence, that should apply to GSPs. I am not sure that this amendment should be in the Bill, but it is very good that we are taking this opportunity to talk about this useful vehicle for helpful the poorest developing countries that we all want to see develop.