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Leaving the EU: Consumer Rights

Volume 654: debated on Tuesday 12 February 2019

5. What steps he is taking to ensure that consumers are informed of any changes to their rights after the UK leaves the EU. (909146)

We are committed to protecting consumers and providing clear information so that they understand their rights. That is why we have launched a public information campaign to reach out to consumers, citizens and businesses. As part of that, we have provided tailored information to consumers about their rights after EU exit. We are working closely with partners such as Citizens Advice on this issue.

Will the Minister tell us what assessment has been made of the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the UK’s product safety regime, and what legal protection consumers will have when buying future products and services from the EU?

The hon. Lady raises an important point. Every piece of no-deal legislation that we have brought through the House has had an impact assessment, and we have already submitted five pieces of legislation. We have been very clear that consumer rights will be protected when we leave the European Union, and I am committed to doing that.

In the Minister’s estimation, what has the Office for Product Safety and Standards achieved in its first year of existence?

My hon. Friend is right to highlight that the new Office for Product Safety and Standards has got its strategy plan together. We are working through that, working with data-led intelligence to ensure that we tackle product safety inequalities when they appear.

As the Government continue to threaten the public with a catastrophic no-deal Brexit, which they admit themselves would be detrimental to consumers, a report by Which? shows that a staggering 82% of people said that the Government had communicated either too little information or no information at all about the impact of such a Brexit. Will the Minister tell the House whether that is a result of sheer incompetence, or is it simply that the Government no longer care about consumers?

This Government are committed to retaining the high levels of consumer protection that we have. We have been very clear about that; we set out our intentions in the consumers Green Paper. We have launched advertising campaigns and published guidance on the Government’s website regarding certain elements of consumer rights. We are working closely with the Consumer Protection Partnership, which brings together the enforcement and the information bodies that work with consumers. We are committed to delivering for consumers, and that will not change—in or out of the EU.