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Future Trade Agreements: Parliamentary Scrutiny

Volume 643: debated on Thursday 28 June 2018

I can reassure the hon. Gentleman that Parliament will have a critical role to play in scrutinising the UK’s future trade deals. We will bring forward proposals in due course.

The Trade Bill in its original form grants Ministers discretionary powers that undermine Parliament’s right of scrutiny. There is no guarantee that agreements will be transposed as originally agreed by the EU, particularly in respect of quotas and tariffs. Given the oft-repeated mantra of taking back control, how can the Government justify not giving Parliament a say on these arrangements?

I know that the hon. Gentleman and others have tabled amendments to the Trade Bill. The details of our proposals on scrutiny will come forward in due course. The Government are committed to building a transparent and inclusive trade policy that is balanced against the need to ensure the confidentiality of negotiations. Any proposal that the Government bring forward will be on top of those mechanisms that are already at the disposal of Parliament. We will be consulting widely with the regions, and many of the concerns that the hon. Gentleman is articulating will be discussed in the regions of England and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Work has already commenced on talking some of these issues through with the devolved authorities.