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

The way that we approached our analysis was to look at food standards and whether they would be diminished by our joining the treaty. The Trade and Agriculture Commission looked at three questions, which are talked about in paragraphs 40 to 42 of the report. We reported the Trade and Agriculture Commission’s advice, which was that there would not be a diminution in the statutory protection of food standards in this country, and that we would, in fact, be allowed to reinforce some of those protections.

However, as the hon. Gentleman importantly flags, we are now finding that sometimes the devil is in the detail. Despite having joined CPTPP with Canada, we now appear to be struggling to get in place a free trade agreement with Canada. The Canadian Government are very clear that technical discussions have stopped. I understand that the Secretary of State, or a spokesman for her, told the Financial Times yesterday that discussions were ongoing, but discussions are not trade talks. If discussions were trade talks, we would be having trade talks with the entire world right now, because our diplomats around the world are in constant engagement with their counterparts in different parts of the planet. The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to flag that issue. The reassurance that I can give him is that we do not see this treaty lead to a softening of the trade standards that we so treasure in this country.