Examination of Witnesses

Part of Trade Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:02 pm on 16th June 2020.

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Professor Winters:

In general, most other countries have processes that involve more formally required consultation and rather more engagement with the legislature as the process goes through. For instance, in the USA there is a whole series of trade advisory committees—I think that is what they are called—which the Government speak to on a confidential basis. There is formal approval of a mandate, particularly if they want to do something on fast-track.

Those are things we do not have in the UK. We do not yet have a completely definitive statement about how these things will be handled, but essentially the CRAG process is fairly light on scrutiny and consultation. Compared with Australia, the US and Canada—where there is, if not constitutionally, at least informally a good deal of consultation with the provinces—we have a system that allows the Government rather more discretion.