Increases in imports or changes in price of agricultural goods

Part of Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 30th January 2018.

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Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General 4:00 pm, 30th January 2018

My hon. Friend is probably raising an issue that would be outside the context of the agricultural safeguarding regime. The regime relates to sudden drops in the price of goods, and indeed certain increases in the volume of goods that are being imported, as opposed to the kind of issues he raises. Phytosanitary issues are outside the context of the Bill but will be subject to the kind of negotiations and measures that we bring into effect in that particular regard.

The Bill introduces a comprehensive framework for a new stand-alone customs regime, which will be underpinned by detailed and technical secondary legislation. The Bill ensures that the scrutiny procedures that apply to the exercise of each power are appropriate and proportionate, taking into account the technical detail of the regulations and how quickly they need to be changed.

As I set out in addressing amendment 110, the effectiveness of the agricultural safeguards regime relies on its responsiveness. The proposed additional procedure would give rise to unacceptable delays, which would not allow the Government to respond quickly to changes in circumstances or to update the measures in a timely manner. The power in the clause is subject to the negative procedure. Given the technical nature and frequency of changes, the Government consider that appropriate and proportionate. I hope the Committee will agree that the clause should stand part of the Bill.