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Lords to take evidence on UK-EU trade post-brexit

Two House of Lords committees, the EU Internal Market and EU External Affairs Sub-Committees, are working together to investigate UK-EU trade following June's referendum. This joint inquiry will hear evidence from international law and trade experts.

The House of Lords EU Committee and its six Sub-Committees are conducting a coordinated series of short inquiries looking at the key issues that will arise in the forthcoming negotiations on Brexit. Taken as a whole, this programme of work will be the most extensive and thorough parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit.

On Thursday 8 September 2016, the two committees will look at the UK's position in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as a basis for future trade and free trade agreements (FTAs) after Brexit.

Witnesses giving evidence about the WTO at 10.30am are:

  • Prof. Piet Eeckhout, Professor of EU Law, University College London
  • Mr Richard Eglin, Senior Trade Policy Advisor, White & Case LLP.

In the following evidence session about FTAs, starting at 11.30am, the committees will hear from:

  • Mr Raoul Ruparel, Co-Director, Open Europe
  • Dr Markus Gehring, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge
  • Mr Luis González García, Associate Member, Matrix Chambers.

Questions which the witnesses are likely to face include:

  • Upon exit from the EU, which terms of the UK's WTO membership would need to be renegotiated and how long could that take?
  • Which elements of WTO renegotiation would rely on the nature of the UK-EU relationship?
  • What would be the practicalities and main challenges for the UK of negotiating a FTA with the EU?
  • Negotiating FTAs can be a lengthy business, is there a risk that the UK could end up on WTO terms for an interim period before an FTA is agreed?
  • What would be the impact of trading with the EU under WTO rules in the absence of an FTA on the largest UK sectors, in particular on services?

These evidence sessions will take place at 10.30am and 11.30am on Thursday 8 September 2016 in Committee Room 4A of the House of Lords.

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