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Trade Bill - Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 6th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bilimoria Lord Bilimoria Crossbench 5:45 pm, 6th March 2019

I emphasise how important this issue is. From my experience, the UK has arguably the finest legal services in the world. As the founding chair of the UK India Business Council, I am aware that foreign lawyers are not allowed to practise in India. That makes it very difficult for our lawyers to provide advice not just to British companies in India but to Indian companies, and that is a huge loss for India and our British legal services. The ability of our lawyers to practise abroad is crucial. The EU is another area where we have taken mutual recognition for granted. All sorts of situations could arise in a no-deal scenario—situations involving not just advice to companies but disputes. What about consumer rights, for example? British consumers will no longer be able to sue in relation to a European product here in the UK. It will have to be done in the country of origin in the EU and, if our lawyers cannot help out, that will be to the detriment of our consumers. Therefore, this is a very important point that cannot be taken for granted and should be included.