COMMONS

Minister questioned on rolling over EU trade agreements

24 January 2018

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.

Witnesses

Wednesday 24 January, Wilson Room, Portcullis House  
 
At 10.00am

  • 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

At 10.45am

  • The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Minister of State for Trade Policy

Trade agreements

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.

Previous sessions

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.

Further information

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