UK Accession to CPTPP

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 2:13 pm ar 22 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Chair, Business and Trade Committee, Chair, Business and Trade Committee, Chair, Business and Trade Sub-Committee on National Security and Investment, Chair, Business and Trade Sub-Committee on National Security and Investment 2:13, 22 Chwefror 2024

That is an excellent question. The hon. Lady may have seen a really good report produced by not our Committee, but the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, on 29 January 2024, which makes precisely that point. We need a better way of scrutinising trade agreements. The CRaG structure allows us to delay things, but not necessarily veto them. When CRaG was introduced back in 2010, it was an innovation, because in the past, that was something that Governments did without any scrutiny whatsoever. Now we are in a different kind of world, in which we are signing free trade agreements at, I hope, increasing pace. However, the House will still have to navigate when we want open trade, when we want to de-risk trade, and when we put economic security first and free trading second. These are dilemmas in which there is not an obvious answer. We cannot prejudge the answers to those questions; they will have to be debated case by case. It could well be that a Government will come to the wrong conclusion about that balance between open and free trade and maximising our economic security as a country, and therefore we in this House must be able to apply a brake —put a hard stop—to trade deals that we think are ultimately not in the national interest.