Implementation of international trade agreements

Part of Trade Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:30 pm on 25th June 2020.

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Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Shadow Minister (International Trade) 12:30 pm, 25th June 2020

Sorry, it is new clause 18 that I rise to speak to. I am grateful for the correction.

On 13 March 2019, an identical amendment was tabled by Baroness Fairhead in the House of Lords. I will just remind the Minister of what she said in her brief contribution:

“I trust that this House will accept this as further evidence that the Government have a strong desire to be transparent with Parliament, businesses and the general public about their continuity programme.”—[Official Report, House of Lords, 13 March 2019; Vol. 796, c. 1060.]

She said that in good faith, because she wanted the amendment to be accepted. It was accepted by the House of Lords and became a substantive part of the Bill, and the Commons would have considered it had the Government brought it back in the time available. There was plenty of time to discuss it then. The Government Whip made a point of order earlier. If the Government have a real problem with timing today, they should think about the problem that was caused by their not bringing back the Bill at any time during the period after March 2019, when an identical amendment, tabled by the Government, was agreed. The Minister has to answer the question why, if this measure was good enough for the Government on 13 March last year, it is not good enough now.