The International Trade Committee holds the latest session of its inquiry into the continuing application of EU trade agreements after Brexit. Giving evidence will be the Rt. Hon. Greg Hands MP, Minister of State for Trade Policy, as well as a panel of trade policy experts.
Wednesday 24 January, Wilson Room, Portcullis House
- Guillaume Van der Loo, Researcher at the Ghent European Law Institute
- Steven Blockmans, Senior Research Fellow and Head of EU Foreign Policy Unit, Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels
- Silvia Merler, Affiliate Fellow at Bruegel, Brussels
- The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Minister of State for Trade Policy
The EU is party to some 40 trade agreements, covering around 60 countries; of the UK’s top 50 export markets for goods in 2015, ten are covered by EU trade agreements. As matters currently stand, the UK will cease to be a party to these agreements after Brexit in March 2019.
The Government intends to maintain the current position by concluding new agreements that replicate the UK’s current rights under the EU’s agreements. The Department for International Trade has said that this is its second priority, after establishing the UK’s position at the World Trade Organization.
The Committee has heard from a range of witnesses about the scope and extent of EU trade agreements, the UK Government’s approach to rolling them over, and potential challenges that may arise on issues such as sequencing and rules of origin.
Purpose of the session
The Committee is expected to question the Minister about how achievable its strategy actually is, when it will come to fruition and what progress it has made so far.
The Committee will also hear from three European trade-policy experts about matters likely to include possible drawbacks in the Government’s approach, sticking points in applying it and options for progressing it.
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