In a letter to the Secretary of State for International Trade, Angus Brendan MacNeil MP – Chair of the International Trade Committee – expresses significant concern that the Trade Remedies Authority will not have the necessary leadership or properly trained staff in place to protect UK businesses by 29 March, and asks the Secretary of State about contingency plans in case the necessary legislation to establish the Authority does not pass through Parliament in time.
The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) will be responsible for investigating unfair trading practices that harm UK businesses after Brexit, however Chair of the International Trade Committee is doubtful that the TRA is on track to have the operational effectiveness it needs to carry out its responsibilities effectively, to the detriment of UK businesses.
He is also concerned about whether the Trade Bill, which legally establishes the authority, will pass through Parliament before the end of March, especially in light of a recent Government defeat in the House of Lords on the Bill.
Commenting on the letter, Angus Brendan MacNeil said:
“I’ve seen little to no evidence to indicate that the TRA will be ready to protect UK businesses on exit day if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. The complacency demonstrated by the Department for International Trade is unacceptable; setting up a truly effective trade remedies authority is no mean feat and I’m concerned that the necessary steps to establish the TRA are falling to the bottom of the Department’s to-do list.
“I have written to Liam Fox to request absolute clarity on how the Department will ensure the TRA is ready in the event of a no-deal Brexit. I am also very concerned that as far as I am aware, the Chair Designate of the TRA is still not even in place – despite being appointed more than three months ago.”