International Trade Committee

UK trade policy transparency and scrutiny – follow-up inquiry

Inquiry status:

One-off evidence session held on Wednesday 3 April 2019.

Scope of the inquiry

Trade policy transparency and scrutiny

In December the International Trade Committee published a report calling for a meaningful role for Parliament, the devolved administrations, local government, businesses and civil society in the formation of future international trade deals. However, the Government’s response to the report rejected a number of the Committee's key recommendations – such as providing Parliament with a yes/no vote on future trade deals.

As Brexit uncertainty continues, and with the possibility that the UK will leave the EU on 12 April without a deal, the Committee seeks an update from the Minister for Trade Policy on how the Government will ensure proper oversight and scrutiny mechanisms are in place before any trade negotiations begin. The Committee will focus on the opportunities for Parliament to debate trade negotiation mandates and ratify future trade agreements, how the Government will ensure it listens to the concerns of business and civil society, and the new inter-governmental Ministerial Forum for future trade agreements, which is intended to provide an opportunity for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s views to be represented in any negotiations.

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