LORDS

EU-New Zealand and EU-Australia Free Trade Agreements

On 19 October 2017, the EU External Affairs Sub-Committee considered the Council Decisions authorising the opening of negotiations for Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with New Zealand and Australia.

The Committee agreed to hold both items under scrutiny and wrote a letter to the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Minister for Trade Policy, which asked the following questions:

  • The Explanatory Memorandum notes that "the UK is expected to have exited the EU ahead of either FTA entering into force". Does the Government intend to engage fully in the negotiations prior to its exit?
  • The Commission sets out its assessment of the potential 'impact on sectoral competitiveness' of the two FTAs. Does the Government intend to produce a similar series of assessments as part of its negotiation of bilateral FTAs after Brexit?
  • What are the UK's principal sectoral interests in negotiating these FTAs, and future bilateral FTAs with New Zealand and Australia?
  • Will the UK seek to negotiate its bilateral FTAs with New Zealand and Australia in parallel?
  • Will the Government provide the Committee with a commitment that Parliament will enjoy an equivalent or better level of transparency as enjoyed for the EU negotiations with New Zealand and Australia, with regard to the UK's FTA negotiations with all countries after Brexit?

The Committee released these documents from scrutiny on 16 November 2017.

Letter from the Minister

Letter from the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Minister for Trade Policy, 1 November 2017: EU-New Zealand and EU-Australia FTAs (PDF PDF 188 KB)

Letter to the Minister

Letter from Committee to the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Minister for Trade Policy, 20 October 2017: EU-New Zealand and EU-Australia FTAs (PDF PDF 151 KB)

Related documents

Explanatory Memorandum from the Government, 3 October 2017 (PDF PDF 58 KB)

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The scrutiny process

Find out more about the scrutiny of EU documents: