Thank you to those constituents who have continued to email me regarding future trade deals and protection of public services.
At International Trade questions on 14 March, the Secretary of State said:
Existing EU trade agreements, such as the EU-Canada comprehensive economic and trade agreement and the EU-Japan economic partnership agreement, contain provisions that ensure that it remains for the United Kingdom to decide how our public services are run. As we leave the EU, the Government will ensure that all future trade agreements continue to protect the UK’s right to regulate public services.
Any UK future trade deals will be subject to greater transparency and scrutiny than most of our fellow countries in the European Union have. This will involve public consultations which will run for 14 weeks ahead of any negotiations for new trade agreements commencing, ensuring that any individual or organisation across the UK can have their say over the negotiating aims.
The Government will also publish an 'Outline Approach', detailing the high-level objectives and scope before any negotiations begin. As negotiations progress, Parliament will be closely involved through regular ministerial statements and updates to the International Trade Committee.
Once negotiations are concluded, any final trade agreement will need to be ratified by Parliament under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. As part of this process, the treaty will be laid before Parliament, alongside an Explanatory Memorandum summarising the content of each trade agreement. An impact assessment will also be published at the appropriate juncture.
In order to implement any new trade agreement, in cases which require changes to domestic legislation and where there are no existing powers to achieve this, the Government will bring forward a bespoke piece of primary legislation. Parliament will scrutinise this new legislation in the same way that all other primary legislation is scrutinised.
I am confident that these measures will ensure that both Parliament and the public have the opportunity to have their say over the future of our country's trade policy.