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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

My Lords, the Government see GIs as extremely important, and we are working to ensure that existing UK GIs will continue to be protected in future. I note the comments of the noble Lords, Lord Tyler and Lord Taylor, about the importance to specific rural economies. I could not agree more. They play a really important role in some very remote economies. For example, lest Scotland be forgotten, I know that the Scottish salmon industry directly supports 8,800 people, mainly in coastal locations. I hope my words today will offer noble Lords significant reassurance on a number of the points raised.

On future protection of GIs in the UK, I assure noble Lords that the UK will provide the legal means for both British and international—including EU —producers to apply for GI protection in the UK after exit. As confirmed in the White Paper, through the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 the UK will establish its own GI scheme after exit in fulfilment of its obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property, TRIPS. It will be fully TRIPS-compliant and broadly modelled on the EU GI schemes from day one. The new UK GI framework will provide a clear and simple set of rules and continuous protection for existing UK GIs.

The noble Lord, Lord Tyler, may be happy to hear that the 65 have now grown to 86; 76 of those are in agricultural products, five are in wine and five are in spirits—a varied collection. I think the noble Lords stated some very strong arguments for Cornish clotted cream and Cornish pasties, but let us not forget Anglesey sea salt or native Shetland wool. All 86 of these GIs will be given new UK GI status automatically on day one, whether or not the UK leaves the EU with a deal. The scheme will also be open for both UK and non-UK new applicants from the day it enters into force. We are committed to celebrating their success.