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Trade and Co-operation Agreement: Engagement with Civil Society and Business Organisations

Volume 701: debated on Tuesday 19 October 2021

My noble Friend, the Minister of State in the Cabinet Office (the right hon. Lord Frost CMG), has today made the following written statement:

As the trade and co-operation agreement (TCA) is a broad agreement that touches on the lives of people across the UK, the Government ran a public consultation on Government engagement with business and civil society groups on implementation of the TCA. The consultation was open for seven weeks from 9 August 2021 to 21 September 2021.

It focused on how to best use the domestic advisory group and civil society forum, the two formal engagement channels provided for in the TCA.

Today, after considering comments received from various stakeholders, including business associations and civil society groups, the Government are publishing their official response to the consultation in Parliament and on www.gov.uk.

The Government have also launched an expression of interest campaign to determine membership of the domestic advisory group and civil society forum. The expression of interest, published today on www.gov.uk, will run until 9 November.

We are preparing for the domestic advisory group to meet for the first time this year, shortly after the closure of the expression of interest campaign. The Government are in discussions with the European Commission to finalise the date for the first civil society forum. We are prepared for the forum to meet at the end of this year but acknowledge that it can take place in February 2022 if both parties agree.

[HCWS328]