Trade Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 30th January 2019.

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Photo of Viscount Younger of Leckie Viscount Younger of Leckie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 6:00 pm, 30th January 2019

As I said earlier, I have some more remarks to make about the process for future trade agreements. What I said about the Israeli agreement was that when a continuity agreement is finalised, it will be laid with an Explanatory Memorandum and report and will be under the affirmative procedure.

I will briefly touch on what we have already committed to in this area. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for International Trade reiterated in an Oral Statement that Parliament should have a crucial role to play in future free trade agreements. The Government will ensure that parliamentarians are given the opportunity to consider the level of ambition of the Government’s approach to negotiations and the potential implications of any agreements. We will lay our outline approach to each negotiation before both Houses in order to facilitate that before we begin negotiations. During negotiations the Government will keep both Houses updated on progress, including providing analysis of appropriate points. Once an FTA has been negotiated, it will need to be implemented and then ratified. I remind the House that free trade agreements cannot of themselves change domestic law.

To implement a new trade agreement with a new partner, the Government will bring forward a bespoke piece of primary legislation for each new trade agreement that requires changes to legislation where there are no existing powers. Parliament will have the opportunity to scrutinise the new legislation in the normal way.