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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Fairhead Baroness Fairhead The Minister of State, Department for International Trade 10:00 pm, 23rd January 2019

As I stated, the protection is indefinite unless there is a justifiable challenge, which would take an enormous amount of time—and that does not include leaving the EU.

The EU needs to comply with the TRIPS agreement in relation to how it handles GIs, and the EU member states are also bound by the European Convention on Human Rights. In terms of future protection of the GIs in the rest of the world, we are currently working with global trading partners to transition those EU FT agreements, which also include obligations on the protection of GIs.

Regarding the protection of EU GIs in the UK—I think the noble Lord was talking about reciprocal arrangements—should we reach a withdrawal agreement with the EU, existing EU GIs will be provided with the same level of protection as now until the future economic relationship agreement between the UK and the EU comes into force or becomes applicable and supersedes. The potential long-term protection of EU GIs in the UK would therefore be determined as part of the negotiations under the future economic partnership. It is key for the Government to retain different options to give the flexibility needed successfully to conclude these negotiations.