Last night I spoke in Parliament in favour of the Trade Bill, residents can hear my speech in full here, or read below:
I’d like to start by commending the Department for International Trade and their fantastic work in continuing to secure agreements around the world, taking full advantage of the benefits that Brexit has brought.
Just last week I hosted a webinar on exporting, in partnership with the Department and my Right Honourable Friend the Member for Wakefield.
It was inspiring to hear of the opportunities that our small and medium sized businesses were taking, boosting skills and jobs in our local area.
With around 6.5 million UK jobs supported by UK exports, it’s vital we continue to support and encourage businesses to export, which will help drive a jobs-led recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Speaker, I believe that this Bill before us updates and builds upon our existing continuity trading relationships that formed part of our membership of the EU.
I particularly welcome the WTO’s Agreement on Government Procurement which will secure access for UK businesses to overseas procurement opportunities worth approximately £1.3 trillion per year.
I also welcome the new Trade Remedies Authority, which will enable Britain to secure the benefits of this freedom while providing a safety net for domestic industries.
These measures ensure that our future trading policy works for every part of our country so that it is more united and more outward looking than ever before.
Mr Speaker, this country leads the way in making the case for human rights as proven by My Rt Hon Friend the member for Esher and Walton’s statement this afternoon, and we have not embraced an independent trading policy to do otherwise.
So, our trading policy must reflect our human rights priorities in a way that is both practical and coherent with our constitution.
Firstly, in order to work effectively, the determination of matters of genocide needs to be practical and follow established methods.
As a result, it is perfectly reasonable for this judgement to rest with competent courts, which include domestic criminal courts and relevant international courts, rather than for governments or non-judicial bodies.
Otherwise, it would afford a quasi-judicial status to a new Committee.
We all support the objective of upholding human rights: it is a question of how we achieve that best in practise.
The Government has listened and given assurance that Parliament and Select Committee chairs will be part of the process to establish new joint committees or subcommittees or bringing in the expertise of former members of the judiciary.
The Government has worked with and listened to my Rt Hon Friend the Member for Chislehurst to find a workable solution.
Amendments proposed by the other place however would create a wrecking ball situation in which the High Court would fundamentally challenge the royal prerogative.
Such a move would undermine our confidence in Parliament.
Mr Speaker, Brexit was about strengthening the voice that this Parliament has.
This bill, and the amendment made by my Rt Hon Friend the Member for Chislehurst, gives a clear role for our Parliament to act quickly and decisively to be part of seizing the new global opportunities ahead.