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Jonathan Djanogly calls for Parliamentary scrutiny of new Free Trade Agreements


14th September 2020

Jonathan Djanogly welcomes the Japan Free Trade Agreement which will now to the Japanese Parliament for pre-signing approval and calls for changes to the Trade Bill so that Free Trade Agreements similarly come before the UK Parliament for pre-signing scrutiny.

Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) (Con)

From what I have seen of the deal so far, it is a great deal and the Secretary of State is to be congratulated on securing it. Coming out of Brexit, it will do much. However, I note that the deal now goes to the Japanese Parliament, as has been said, for pre-signing approval, but not by law to this Parliament for pre-signing approval. Will my right hon. Friend acknowledge—preferably in the Trade Bill, which is going through the other place—that, post Brexit, the UK needs a modern, relevant, fair and workable scrutiny regime for new FTAs and not just a return to the pre-EU, outdated 1924 Ponsonby rule, which is restricted to ratification?

Elizabeth Truss

I understand that the deal will go to both Parliaments at the same time—it will go to the Japanese Diet at the same time as it goes to the International Trade Committee in this House for its analysis. As I have said, under the CRaG process, which was introduced by the Labour Government in 2010, Parliament can block the deal if it does not like it, and that process is roughly equivalent to those in other Parliaments, including in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Hansard

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