Implementation of international trade agreements

Trade Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 am on 30th January 2018.

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Amendment proposed (this day): 8, in clause 2, page 2, line 9, at end insert—

“(4A) Regulations may only be made under section 2(1) if—

(a) the provisions of the international trade agreement to which they relate are consistent with standards for food safety and quality as set and administered by—

(i) the Department of Health;

(ii) the Food Standards Agency; and

(iii) any other public authority specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State;

(b) the Secretary of State is satisfied that mechanisms and bodies charged with enforcement of standards for food safety and quality have the capacity to absorb any extra requirement which may arise from the implementation of the agreement;

(c) the provisions of the international trade agreement to which they relate are consistent with policy to achieve reduction in the risk of disease or contamination as set and administered by—

(i) the Department of Health;

(ii) the Food Standards Agency; and

(iii) any other public authority specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State;

(d) the provisions of the international trade agreement to which they relate are consistent with achieving improvements in public health through any food policy priorities set and administered by—

(i) the Department of Health;

(ii) the Food Standards Agency; and

(iii) any other public authority specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State;

(e) the provisions of the international trade agreement to which they relate are compliant with policy to achieve targets for farm antibiotic reduction set by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate;

(f) the provisions of the international trade agreement to which they relate are compliant with retained EU law relating to food standards and the impact of food production upon the environment; and

(g) any food or food products to which the provisions of the international trade agreement apply meet standards of labelling, indication of provenance, and packaging specified by the Food Standards Agency.

(4B) A statutory instrument containing regulations of the Secretary of State under this section may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.”.

This would ensure that international trade agreements maintain or enhance food safety standards in the UK.

Question again proposed, That the amendment be made.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade 2:00 pm, 30th January 2018

May I start by welcoming you to the Chair, Mr Davies?

The Government have already made it clear that we will not use the necessary and indeed pertinent exercise of continuing the effects of our existing agreements as a back-door way to reduce standards, including food safety standards. As the Prime Minister said in Florence in September, we are

“committed not only to protecting high standards, but strengthening them…we will always be a country whose pitch to the world is high standards at home.”

I am happy to reaffirm the Prime Minister’s commitment to the Committee. We are committed to upholding and strengthening our high standards in public health and safety, product performance and protecting the environment.

Photo of Faisal Rashid Faisal Rashid Labour, Warrington South

How does the Minister plan to prevent a race to the bottom on food safety standards in the UK and to protect British consumers if he is not prepared to accept the amendment?

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

The Government have always been clear that we will maintain our very high standards on food and animal welfare, and for protection in that space. There will be no race to the bottom. Nothing in free trade agreements precludes a Government from regulating in the domestic environment. I hope that that is enough reassurance for the hon. Gentleman. On protecting the environment, high standards and high quality are what our domestic and global consumers demand, and that is what we should provide.

To be clear, nothing in the Bill would allow us to do a free trade agreement with the United States because, as we know, the United States does not have a free trade agreement with the European Union. While the hon. Member for Bradford South gave an interesting speech of some length about what may or may not happen in any future trade agreement with the United States, it is worth mentioning that the Bill does not cover free trade agreements with the United States. Any future free trade agreement with the United States must work for UK farmers, businesses and consumers, and uphold food safety and animal welfare standards. However, that is a matter for a future day; it is not relevant to the Bill before us.

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

Surely the Minister appreciates that the examples of the USA were given in order to clearly illustrate the principles. At no point was it suggested that those examples were a necessary follow on. However, they illustrated the principles, and the Minister must appreciate that and take it seriously, in terms of the amendment.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

We take incredibly seriously food safety standards, animal welfare and so on. If the hon. Gentleman is suggesting that he has serious concerns in those spaces in respect of any of the 40-plus current EU trade agreements that we are seeking to move into UK law, perhaps he could let me know.

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

I am very happy to adumbrate on that. The particular concerns relating to growth hormones in beef are, of course, of equal importance in the context of any future UK-Canada trade agreement, given that Canadian beef farmers are permitted to use growth hormones in a way that our farmers are not. The EU granted a higher quota to hormone-free Canadian beef exports in the EU-Canada comprehensive economic and trade agreement negotiations. It was only popular pressure that prevented the European Commission from relaxing the ban on imports of hormone beef. We simply want to ensure that Parliament is the place where this country takes decisions on whether to relax or tighten our food standards. We do not want those decisions taken in secret trade negotiations and then imposed on us through the excessive powers in the Bill.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

I am certain that CETA is consistent with our food safety and animal welfare standards. What is more, I think the majority of Labour MPs agree with me. Last February, Labour MPs split 86 in favour of CETA and 68 against, so whatever concerns the hon. Member for Brent North has, I gently suggest that he tries to persuade his own party before coming to see the Government.

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

Again, I am happy to take on the Minister on that. He is talking about something that happened before the previous election, and as personnel change, so perhaps does the wish of the members of the parliamentary Labour party. However, that is not really the point. He will also find that those people on the Labour Benches who wanted to support CETA on that occasion seem now to have changed their views about whether CETA—the Canadian model—is a good model for us to pursue in the trade negotiations. Most of them seem to have turned tail and run to the other side.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

The hon. Gentleman is trying to mix up the transitional and existing trade agreements with our future trading relationship with the European Union—which, I remind the Committee, is also not a subject of the Bill. I think he said that his vote against CETA was before the previous election, and if he is suggesting that he might have changed his mind on CETA, I am all ears. When we come to ratification of the treaty, I would personally welcome him as a sinner that repenteth, were he to come into the Lobby with Conservative Members to support the Canadian free trade agreement.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

I will not give way. We are getting a little off the point.

We are absolutely clear that all existing commitments on standards and regulations will remain when those agreements are transitioned. That is in line with our clearly articulated principle that our intent is to transition solely the existing effect of the agreements. The amendment is therefore unnecessary and I ask the hon. Member for Bradford South to withdraw it.

Photo of Judith Cummins Judith Cummins Shadow Minister (International Trade)

We will not withdraw the amendment and wish to proceed to a vote.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 7, Noes 10.

Division number 5 Caledonian Pinewood Forest — Implementation of international trade agreements

Aye: 7 MPs

No: 10 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed: 9, in clause 2, page 2, leave out line 33.—(Barry Gardiner.)

This would remove the Henry VIII power allowing for the modification of primary legislation that is retained EU law.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 9, Noes 10.

Division number 6 Caledonian Pinewood Forest — Implementation of international trade agreements

Aye: 9 MPs

No: 10 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed: 10, in clause 2, page 2, line 40, at end insert–—

“(7A) An ‘international agreement that mainly relates to trade, other than a free trade agreement’ means a strategic partnership agreement or mutual recognition agreement that is ancillary to a free trade agreement as defined in subsection (7).”—(Barry Gardiner.)

This would define international trade agreements that do not fall within the category of a “free trade agreement” as defined under subsection (7).

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 9, Noes 10.

Division number 7 Caledonian Pinewood Forest — Implementation of international trade agreements

Aye: 9 MPs

No: 10 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly negatived.

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

I beg to move amendment 11, in clause 2, page 2, line 41, leave out subsections (8) and (9) and insert—

“(8) No regulations may be made under subsection (1) in relation to an agreement which meets the criteria in subsection (3) or (4) after the end of the period of five years beginning with exit day.”

This would make the sunset clause governing section 2(1) non-renewable.

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment 12, in clause 2, page 2, line 41, leave out subsections (8) and (9) and insert—

“(8) No regulations may be made under subsection (1) in relation to an agreement which meets the criteria in subsection (3) or (4) after the end of—

(a) the period of five years beginning with exit day (“the initial five year period”), or

(b) such other period as is specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State in accordance with subsection (9).

(9) Regulations under subsection (8)(b) may not extend the initial five year period beyond the day which falls ten years after exit day.”

This would make the sunset clause governing section 2(1) renewable once only.

Amendment 35, in clause 2, page 3, line 3, at end insert—

“(10) No regulations may be made under subsection (8)(b) unless the Secretary of State has consulted with the Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Ministers.”

This amendment would ensure that there must be consultation with the Scottish Ministers or Welsh Ministers before any extension of the powers in Clause 2.

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

I, too, am pleased to welcome you back to the Chair, Mr Davies. How do you know when a Minister feels guilty? It is when he or she introduces a sunset clause. The Government know they are pulling a fast one in the Bill and clause 2 includes the Henry VIII power for Government to amend primary legislation by fiat. The provisions in the rest of clause 2 and its accompanying schedules reduce hon. Members of this House to little more than bystanders at a royal pageant.

The Government try to mitigate their power grab by making the offending powers in clause 2(1) subject to a five-year sunset clause. The Secretary of State is on record as saying:

“I hear people saying, ‘Oh, we won’t have any before we leave’. Well, believe me, we’ll have up to 40 ready for one second after midnight in March 2019. All these faint hearts saying we cannot do it—it’s absolute rubbish”.

Let us for a moment take the Secretary of State at his word and believe him when he tells us that we will have all these shiny new agreements ready and waiting by the end of March 2019. The five-year sunset clause that the Bill gives the Government is surely, therefore, the sort of defeatist nonsense that the faint-hearted would say they need. According to the Secretary of State, a half-hour sunset clause would be more than enough—perhaps half a day to pick up the stragglers or half a week to pick up the rank outsiders, the real laggards in the case. What is this nonsense?

There is a serious issue, because these agreements are supposed to provide British businesses with the certainty they desperately need so as to plan their operations and their investments in respect of trade with those countries with which we already have agreements by virtue of our membership of the EU.

Yes, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union has confirmed that the UK will be unable to implement any of the new trade agreements until the end of a two-year transition period that we will negotiate with the EU, but that only buys the Government until the end of 2020 to come up with the 40 new trade agreements the Secretary of State promised would be ready by March 2019. The end of 2020 is the terminus proposed by the EU for our transition period, as was confirmed in the negotiating directives that it adopted yesterday.

So how can the Government say that they need longer than the five years that the Bill already grants them? The Bill will allow the Government until March 2024—more than three years after the extended deadline that has just been granted in the transition period after we leave the EU. Surely we cannot really be telling businesses that they will be hanging on by their fingernails to the cliff edge for more than six years from now.

I am not suggesting that we should rush the negotiation of any of the new trade agreements that will replace those that we have enjoyed with third countries by virtue of our membership of the EU—far from it. We need to get them right. What I am saying is that we should have a proper process of consultation and parliamentary scrutiny by which to debate and vote on what comes out of those negotiations.

Photo of Faisal Rashid Faisal Rashid Labour, Warrington South 2:15 pm, 30th January 2018

Does my hon. Friend agree that, without limits on the renewability of the sunset clause and against the backdrop of a Government failure to commit to a second trade Bill, this Bill will certainly be seen by many as a potential Trojan horse for the Government to introduce future deals with minimum levels of scrutiny?

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to be sceptical. The Minister has made much of the arguments that, first, there is a need for speed and, secondly, this is only a temporary Bill that puts in place temporary provisions to roll over the existing agreements. In fact, the powers—certainly the ones relating to the agreement on government procurement—are not temporary; they last longer.

Here, in the provisions of the sunset clause, we have not just one sunset period but the possibility of indefinite roll-overs of the sunset clause itself: five years, followed by five years, followed by five years. If the Minister is absolutely confident that the Bill is a temporary necessity, one must wonder why he wants the sunset clause to continue indefinitely into the future at the Government’s will, when it enables the Government to take on a Henry VIII power.

When I say that there should be a proper process of consultation and scrutiny by which to debate the negotiations, I am only replicating what Anastassia Beliakova of the British Chambers of Commerce demanded in her oral evidence during our final witness session last Tuesday, when she said that provision needs to be made not only for “appropriate scrutiny in Parliament” but for a proper process of “stakeholder engagement for business” and “civil society” in order to scrutinise any changes that might arise as a result of the negotiations.

If the Government are adamant that such a process is to be denied us, rejecting the advice of business and the demands of trade unions and other civil society bodies, it should be denied us for an absolute maximum of five years, with no renewal of the sunset clause, as provided for in clause 2(8) and (9). Every day longer that the Government have those powers is another day for which parliamentary democracy is put on hold. The first of our amendments says that five years is enough. We believe that it is five years too many, given the unmerited powers that the Bill grants to the Government and the rights that it strips away from Parliament, but certainly five years should be enough. If the Government still have not managed to roll over their agreements by March 2024, that power should disappear along with the expiry date.

I really wonder whether Government Members themselves believe that an indefinite use of a roll-over to give an unending Henry VIII power to the Government is a sensible power that this Committee should grant.

Let us say that the Government persist in getting rid of amendment 11. Amendment 12 would allow the Government one renewal only. That is, the Government would be allowed to ask Parliament for permission to renew the sunset clause for one extension, but no more. That would allow the Government the unmerited powers in the Bill right up to the end of March 2029. Can the Minister really demand, with any sense of integrity, that this Committee afford him and the Government greater power than that?

Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Infrastructure and Energy)

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship again, Mr Davies.

First, I reiterate that Opposition Members do not see the Bill as fit for purpose. We accept the need for clause 2: the Government will need to manage the handover of trade deals that are currently accessed through the EU. However, clause 2 is deficient and we are still to hear what the Government will to do to improve it and to improve the Bill. They have voted down every amendment that has been proposed so far, so it would be good to hear the Minister’s plan. Again, that is particularly important regarding the Government’s attitude to the devolved Administrations.

Just this morning, BBC Radio Scotland led its headline news with a report on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which is now moving to the House of Lords, and the fact that the House of Lords will have to make amendments to clause 11—amendments that were originally promised by the UK Government but were not brought forward. It did not paint the UK Government in a good light, especially when the UK Government could not even put up any spokesperson; it is plain why that was the case.

I say to the Minister that, given that the Scottish and Welsh Governments have both said that they will withhold a legislative consent motion unless there are amendments to this Bill, it would be prudent for him not to fall into that trap. Failing to make amendments once looks incompetent, but if proper amendments are not made to this Bill that satisfy the devolved Administrations, it will look a bit more sinister than mere incompetence.

I remind the Committee that it is not just politicians from the Scottish National party who are saying this; clearly, the Welsh Government are in agreement with the SNP. In the evidence sessions, which the Minister was at, we heard from different witnesses. Chris Southworth from the International Chamber of Commerce UK said:

“Overall...I would be concerned if I were in the devolved Administrations. There is specifically no opportunity for the devolved Administrations…to feed into decisions on trade. I would be very concerned about that, particularly in the devolved Administrations”.––[Official Report, Trade Public Bill Committee, 23 January 2018; c. 35, Q80.]

Michael Clancy from the Law Society of Scotland said:

“There is clearly an issue about how the Sewel convention or legislative consent convention is interpreted in respect of that…any proposals in UK Parliament legislation that seek to alter the legislative competence of the Parliament or of Scottish Ministers require the consent of the Parliament.”––[Official Report, Trade Public Bill Committee, 23 January 2018; c. 56, Q107.]

Professor Winters from the UK Trade Policy Observatory said:

“Parliament and the devolved Administrations need to have an important role in setting mandates, and there need to be consultation and information during the process.”––[Official Report, Trade Public Bill Committee, 23 January 2018; c. 58, Q111.]

In written evidence, the Fairtrade Foundation, Trade Justice Movement, Global Justice Now and Traidcraft all clearly expressed the need for the devolved Administrations and Chambers to be given a role in the UK’s future trade policy.

Unfortunately, despite all that evidence the position of the hon. Member for Brent North appears to be that if the devolved nations do not have the powers at present, they should not look at getting them in the future. His phrase earlier was that they “shouldn’t be looking upwards”. To me, that sounds a wee bit like, “Don’t get ideas above your station”.

We have not tabled any amendments to schedule 1, which imposes limitations on the devolved Administrations. I would argue that that in itself shows that the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government have taken a rational approach to the Bill in respect of the various amendments that have been tabled. We are not trying to create some form of awkward veto, as has been suggested elsewhere. Our simple intention is to make sure that the devolved Administrations are not ridden over roughshod. That means that there needs to be co-operation, consultation and consent.

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

I want to reassure the hon. Gentleman that we are absolutely at one with him in wanting to ensure that the Bill does not make provision for Westminster Ministers to overreach themselves into devolved competences in any of the devolved Assemblies of the nations of our United Kingdom. We are equally concerned about that.

I have tried to present amendments in as open a way as possible, so that we can get the best wisdom from the Government and from the devolved Administrations, to ensure that nothing is done that would make it difficult, or indeed impossible, for a UK Government to honour any aspects of their international obligations under an international trade treaty. That is my only concern, and I am sure we can get to the right place with good will all round. It is a constitutional question, because these powers have not previously been possessed by the UK Government; they were held at EU level. It is therefore important that we give the matter the scrutiny that it deserves.

On amendment 35, which we are about to move on to, we are probably at one.

Order. I remind hon. Members that interventions are meant to be briefer than the leeway I allowed the hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Infrastructure and Energy)

Thank you, Mr Davies, and I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. I welcome his opening remarks, and I might have an opportunity to show how much when other amendments go to a vote. I also welcome his support for amendment 35. He talked about the wisdom of co-operation and of working with Government, and the wisdom of devolved Administrations. It is maybe a pity that the wisdom of the devolved Administrations is coming through me rather than directly, but we will just have to deal with that.

Amendment 35 is very modest. All we are asking is that, if the UK Government propose to extend the sunset clause, they must consult the Scottish and Welsh Governments. That does not seem to be too big an ask to me. It is also more pertinent given the five-year period proposed in the Bill. Given that the Bill, as I keep hearing, is to do only with the UK’s access to existing EU trade deals and bringing those deals into UK legislation, it makes me wonder why we would ever need a period beyond five years. We are dealing with legislation that should be coming forward quickly, given the date for leaving the EU, and given that the International Trade Secretary has said that these negotiations will be the easiest in human history. Why we would need Henry VIII powers beyond five years is a mystery. We are just asking for the courtesy that the Scottish and Welsh Governments are consulted if that is the case.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

We have had a wide-ranging and interesting mini debate, full of historical references and colourful metaphors. We have had Henry VIII, plenty of sunsets and royal pageants. The hon. Member for Warrington South even introduced a Trojan horse. It has been a helpful debate.

Let me try to explain why we have included the sunset clause for this power, because once I have explained, all will become clearer. It is so that Parliament can have the chance to review its merits once again five years after exit date. However, since this power may be required to ensure the operability of transition agreements beyond the five-year period, potentially indefinitely, it is important that the Government have the option to extend the use of the clause 2 power. That will, of course, be subject to the approval of both Houses.

For example, the power might be needed so that we can make technical changes to agreements after exit day to ensure that they remain operable on a longer-term basis. To give a specific example, in the case of a transitioned mutual recognition agreement, we may need to change secondary legislation to update the names of awarding bodies in third countries so that UK businesses can continue to use such bodies legally. Alternatively, where our trade agreements refer to international standards—we debated environmental and labour protection earlier, for example—we may need the power to update those references in domestic legislation to ensure that we remain compliant with our international agreements. Removing the possibility of extension would compromise the purpose of the power in ensuring the continuity and future operability of our current trading arrangements, risking disruption for UK businesses in the future.

Applying the affirmative procedure to the sunset clause means that the instrument that extends the power must be approved by resolutions of both Houses. The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee would have the role of scrutinising the policy intention behind the regulations and, through its reports, drawing to the attention of the other place any that may be interesting, flawed or inadequately explained by the Government. In short, that means that Parliament would have significant oversight of the necessary legislation should the Government seek to extend the clause 2 power.

On amendment 35, in the name of the Scottish National party, we have been clear that we will continue to engage with the devolved Administrations as we transition our current arrangements.

Photo of Hannah Bardell Hannah Bardell Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Trade and Investment) 2:30 pm, 30th January 2018

I am certain that the right hon. Gentleman is determined, in his approach and plan, to consult the devolved nations. If he is, why not put that in the Bill to ensure that it happens?

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

Because I like to keep legislation as brief as possible and, as I shall explain, I do not think it necessary for us to write that obligation into the Bill. Of course, we would continue to engage should we need to extend the clause beyond its sunset five years after exit day.

I was intrigued by the exchange between the hon. Members for Kilmarnock and Loudoun and for Brent North. I am still trying to find out why, on Thursday, the Labour Front-Bench team did not support the amendment promoted by the Welsh Government. I am not sure that the hon. Gentleman properly explained, but perhaps when he responds he can throw a little more light on why he has seemingly jettisoned his colleagues from Wales, one of whom is on this very Committee.

On the requirement for a legislative consent motion, we have been clear that we are seeking such a motion for the Bill. I heard what the hon. Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun said about that, and I am sure that we will engage further. We are obviously talking to the devolved Administrations so that we can work towards delivering a Bill that will benefit the whole UK. Given that, we do not think that the formal commitments on consultation and engagement in amendment 35 would add substantively to the Bill. I therefore ask hon. Members not to press the amendments.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 9, Noes 10.

Division number 8 Caledonian Pinewood Forest — Implementation of international trade agreements

Aye: 9 MPs

No: 10 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly negatived.

Do you also wish to press amendment 12 to a Division, Mr Gardiner?

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

On amendment 12, to respond to what the Minister said, we heard oral evidence from Mr Howarth, who was in fact an adviser to Conservative MPs, that the Henry VIII powers were needed only for minor changes, potentially around the EU agreements—

Order. May I interrupt the hon. Gentleman? His opportunity to respond to the debate was before the previous Division. I was really just asking whether he wanted to move amendment 12 formally.

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

I was simply explaining that, in the light of the Minister’s remarks, we do wish to move the amendment, because it conforms with the suggestions of one of the Government’s own witnesses.

Amendment proposed: 12, in clause 2, page 2, line 41, leave out subsections (8) and (9) and insert—

“(8) No regulations may be made under subsection (1) in relation to an agreement which meets the criteria in subsection (3) or (4) after the end of—

(a) the period of five years beginning with exit day (‘the initial five year period’), or

(b) such other period as is specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State in accordance with subsection (9).

(9) Regulations under subsection (8)(b) may not extend the initial five year period beyond the day which falls ten years after exit day.”—

This would make the sunset clause governing section 2(1) renewable once only.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 9, Noes 10.

Division number 9 Caledonian Pinewood Forest — Implementation of international trade agreements

Aye: 9 MPs

No: 10 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed: 35, in clause 2, page 3, line 3, at end insert—

“(10) No regulations may be made under subsection (8)(b) unless the Secretary of State has consulted with the Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Ministers.”—

This amendment would ensure that there must be consultation with the Scottish Ministers or Welsh Ministers before any extension of the powers in Clause 2.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 9, Noes 10.

Division number 10 Caledonian Pinewood Forest — Implementation of international trade agreements

Aye: 9 MPs

No: 10 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly negatived.

Clause 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 1