Trade Agreements

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential effect on developing (a) countries and (b) sectors on roll-over agreements not being signed by 29 March 2019.

Photo of George Hollingbery George Hollingbery Minister of State (International Trade)

As the UK exits the EU, we aim to replicate the effects of the EU’s Association Agreements and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in order to avoid trade disruption for developing countries.

EPAs are development-focused trade agreements with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries which aim to promote increased trade and investment by putting our trading relationship on a more equitable, mature and business-like footing, supporting sustainable growth and poverty reduction. It is in both our interests, and the interests of businesses and consumers, that we continue to trade on the same basis as we do now after the UK leaves the EU. We have already signed an agreement with the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) countries to ensure continuity. The Government is working to mitigate the risks, including economic, if trade is disrupted by the absence of an agreement or a gap in coverage.

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