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Trade Bill - Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 4th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Fox Lord Fox Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 4:45 pm, 4th February 2019

If the noble Lord reviews what I said in Hansard, he will see that I talked about two particular issues highlighted by the Migration Advisory Committee.

In addition to listening for the reaction of the Labour Front Bench in this House, from the Government I am listening for the Minister to publicly acknowledge the benefits that EEA migrants have brought to the lives of all of us in the UK. More than that, I hope to hear the Minister confirm that Her Majesty’s Government understand that trade is intrinsically about people, whether working alone or in companies and organisations, and—as previous speakers have brought out—that this is even more important in an economy centred on services, such as ours. Therefore, the more they can move and trade, the better it is for the United Kingdom’s economy. I wish to hear that the Government understand that to restrain the trade of EEA nationals in the UK will not only forfeit the benefits they bring but will materially restrain hundreds of thousands—if not more—UK people trading in the EU 27. I would like the Minister to rule out the use of this as a bargaining chip in negotiations. That is why I would like to write this into the Bill. I beg to move.