Trade Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Lilley Lord Lilley Conservative 4:15 pm, 30th January 2019

I am not sure that I said any of the things that I think the noble Lord is both telling me I said and that are not true. I suspect what he said is true but it is not what I said. Forgive me if I do not really respond to his point, which I do not fully understand.

My point was that there is the pan-Euro-Med convention which has the same rules of origin among all the countries. Cumulation is allowed between them. You can join the convention when you have a free trade agreement with one member of it—at least, that is what I am asking the Minister to confirm is the case and will be the case when we have a free trade agreement with Israel, to start with.

The noble Baroness, Lady Kramer, talked about the costs. I do not know if she is familiar with the study of the costs—which I think is the most recent and the most authoritative—carried out by the World Customs Organization. It searched through all the previous studies and found them to be deficient. The level of cost is actually much lower than had previously been thought. That must be true if the Swiss assessment of the total cost of their trade across the borders is correct, because they believe that it is only 0.1% of the value of their trade, including the cost of complying with rules of origin.

I advise the Committee as a whole to read that report. I am sorry that I cannot give the reference but I can give the reference to a document in which the reference is given—namely, a document that I myself wrote called Fact—NOT Friction. I urge noble Lords to read it, as they will find the appropriate reference.