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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:00 pm on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Stevenson of Balmacara Lord Stevenson of Balmacara Opposition Whip (Lords) 9:00 pm, 23rd January 2019

My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his full response. We would welcome the opportunity to meet up with him.

We are converging on this point, though the noble Baroness, Lady Neville-Rolfe, is coming from a slightly different direction. She is hoping to see some quite quick change towards—I cannot think of the right word—a family relationship, involving Commonwealth and other markers which are not a feature of the other lists we have been talking about. It might make sense to try to work out where this is going.

We are among friends, so I can confess that I tried to do exactly what the noble Lord, Lord Lansley, did, which was to go back to the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018 and try to work out where we were. I gave up, but he did not. I could not make out the list markers. The confusion comes because we are working from two different directions, as the Minister said. One is from a World Bank list of economic measures and the other is from a trading and development list which gives a different feel. Clearly, you get a different group of countries if you look at different indicators—not just poverty but the potential to export, the development status of their industrial arrangements and their other markets. We would have to think hard about all these. This does not vitiate the main point that it may not be necessary to put an amendment into this Bill, but it would be quite useful to have something where we, on all sides of the House, roughly understand the basis on which the Government are progressing. The Minister did say rather remarkably—but I hope it is true—that, whatever the timing, even if it were 29 March, they would be ready to make sure and clarify full details of what would be available to all the countries in scope on the GSP and on the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act approach. If that is true, he is obviously ready for the meeting and we are too. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 27 withdrawn.