Examination of Witness

Part of Trade Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:51 am on 16th June 2020.

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Roy Freeland:

The improvement that I have to suggest is the question of reciprocity, which has already been mentioned. Article 85 of the EU directive in 2014 talked about ensuring comparable and effective access for undertakings to the markets of those third countries. I would like to see the Trade Bill include a brief provision so that countries that are applying restrictions to UK exports can have similar restrictions applied when they are trying to export to the UK. This is a non-confrontational way to deal with the issue. It has major advantages, in that it would be fair, and would be seen to be fair, being based on reciprocity rather than unilateral protectionism. It would help to demonstrate the UK’s leadership on free trade and refusal to accept unfair restrictions. I think it would also provide a negotiating tool for us. Exporters to the UK would put pressure on their own Government—[Inaudible.] This whole process would provide a backstop and would provide flexibility to deal with Government procurement issues without—[Inaudible.]