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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:30 pm on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Fairhead Baroness Fairhead The Minister of State, Department for International Trade 9:30 pm, 23rd January 2019

I am happy to meet the noble Baroness and the noble Lord with officials to go through the detail of this, and then we will prepare a letter for the Committee if required. The discussions on whether the UN Commission on International Trade Law—UNCITRAL—should seek to establish a multilateral investment court are in their preliminary stages; there are no firm proposals on the structure, governance or cost. We are actively engaged. However, discussions on that possible reform are at an early stage. We should not prejudge the outcome of that process, because to do so could preclude the UK from making a later judgment when proposals are more advanced. We look forward to working with international partners. In addition to the discussion I offered, I welcome discussing this topic further. There are a range of views on this question. At this stage, should the UK require a universal commitment to pursue a multilateral investment court in all future agreements, that could result in the loss of our negotiating space.

In respect of the true aims of this Bill and the resolution systems that are already in place, and given our commitments to discuss MICs, I ask the noble Lord to withdraw his amendment.