Trade Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 30th January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Purvis of Tweed Lord Purvis of Tweed Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (International Trade) 4:15 pm, 30th January 2019

It is less a point of the inability to trade with countries on WTO rules of origin principles—they have been established for many years and will continue, and the EU uses them with non-EU countries. The difference the noble Lord is alluding to is a mutual recognition of the rules of origin principles that we have agreed through the EU with, for example, Norway and Switzerland. This means that, as far as cumulation is concerned—and given that the majority of British imports and exports are cumulated products with our biggest market—the critical factor is the non-burden that comes with other checks that we would not have if we were a non-member of either a customs union or, indeed, a grouping that meant that all other regulations were aligned, as those countries have opted to do, and I think his position is that we should not do.