EU: Future Trade Agreement Debate

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Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

Main Page: Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town (Labour - Life peer)

EU: Future Trade Agreement

Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Excerpts
Wednesday 29th July 2020

(3 years, 12 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Asked by
Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Portrait Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town
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To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following the last round of negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union, whether a future trade agreement will be secured by September.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con)
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The fifth negotiation round took place in London last week and intensified talks are ongoing. There is convergence in many areas and we will keep working to bridge the gaps. We believe that an agreement can be reached in September and we look forward to the full negotiating round beginning on 17 August.

Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Portrait Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town (Lab)
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I am sorry that we have a Minister with no involvement in the talks answering. Given that the Prime Minister and EU top politicians accelerated the talks so as to reach an agreement in September, can the Minister inform the House whether we will now drop our hostility to a level playing field so that we can get that much-needed trade deal in place in time for business certainty; remove any risk of no deal, with its security risk of organised crime and terrorism; and allow for ratification here, as well as in the European Parliament, and by member states?

Baroness Scott of Bybrook Portrait Baroness Scott of Bybrook
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I thank the noble Baroness for her question. No, we are not going to forget the importance of the level playing field. The political declaration sets out our commitment to discuss open and fair competition as part of negotiations on an ambitious future relationship. We already start from a place of exceptionally high standards. We have said that we have absolutely no intention of lowering these standards, including on social and employment law, such as maternity leave and shared parental leave, and environmental regulation, such as greenhouse gas targets. We do not agree that an open trading relationship based on an FTA requires extensive level playing field commitments. We are looking for commitments in these areas, like those of a normal FTA.