Examination of Witnesses

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

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George Riddell:

I agree with many of the comments made by Professor Winters and would add two additional points. The first is on consultation and its importance. Not only does it help the UK to identify what its offensive and defensive interests are and how best to achieve them through negotiations; it also helps to build political support. The thing that businesses want when they are looking to use trade agreements is the certainty that, when they make an investment under the provisions, in five, 10 or 15 years they will continue to be able to trade under the terms of that trade agreement. By not having wide consultation and the necessary support, it calls into question that certainty. The question of scrutiny and everything else is for this House and this Committee, but from a business perspective, we want widespread support for the trade agreements so that they can continue into the future.