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Government agrees to record trade commitments

09 Mar Government agrees to record trade commitments

In a letter to the House of Lords International Agreements Committee, published today, the Government has agreed to an exchange of letters providing a consolidated record of its commitments to Parliament on the scrutiny of trade agreements. This is in response to the committee arguing the case for such a consolidation of commitments in its Working Practices: one year on report, and in recent correspondence.

The Government’s letter follows concerns that the Government’s initial response to the committee’s report had failed to engage with key recommendations.

Writing today, the Rt Hon Amanda Milling MP, Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, said:

“I would like to confirm that the Government is willing to record its commitments on the subject of trade agreements in an exchange of letters. I trust this reassures the committee and underlines the importance that the Government places on parliamentary scrutiny of our future trade agreements programme.”

Baroness Hayter, Chair of the House of Lords International Agreements Committee said:

“I am delighted that the Government has agreed to my committee’s request for an exchange of letters drawing together Government commitments that will help Parliament scrutinise trade deals. Trade agreements can affect jobs, the price and availability of goods, and our food and environmental standards. They deserve proper scrutiny and the exchange of letters will provide a clear framework for Parliament to do just that.”

Today’s letter was received ahead of the committee chair’s oral question on the subject, scheduled for after 3pm in the House of Lords.