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House of Commons Hansard
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EU Free Trade Agreements
17 May 2018
Volume 641
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9. If he will take steps to ensure that the UK has third-party membership of current EU free trade agreements to maintain compliance with rules of origin requirements after the UK leaves the EU. [905365]

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Since the draft withdrawal agreement confirms that international agreements continue to apply to the UK during the implementation period, common rules of origin will remain until the end of 2020.  We are keen, of course, to avoid disruption to supply chains, so we are working to secure continuity after this.

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I am sure the Minister has met motor manufacturers who have warned that they will simply not be able to meet the 60% local content requirement under rules of origin if EU components cannot be included. At present, the UK content is between about 40% and 44%. How will the Minister address that?

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I think the hon. Lady is referring to the EU’s current set of more than 40 agreements with more than 70 counterparts. That is a matter for active discussions. We are obviously trying to secure the best possible deal for UK motor manufacturers, not only those involved with the finished product but those who provide the components, as part of our talks with third parties.