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Trade Bill - Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:58 pm on 6th March 2019.

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Photo of Viscount Trenchard Viscount Trenchard Conservative 7:58 pm, 6th March 2019

I do not disagree with the noble Lord—but the point I was making is that in the period since 1998 goods exports to the EU have grown by only 0.2% per year, or 3.7% over those 20 years, reaching £164 billion in 2017. However, the UK’s goods exports to countries outside the EU customs union have grown in the same period by 3.3% a year—over 60% in total—to £175 billion. So the customs union has not been quite as marvellous for this country as noble Lords opposite suggest. I very much hope that the Government will stick to their policy of leaving on a basis whereby we will have our own independent trade policy, which will enable us to do more trade and enter into trade agreements with the economically faster-growing parts of the world.