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Economy Economy

Introduce a Trade Bill in the next parliament

Last updated: 02:40pm 1 October 2019

We will introduce a Trade Bill in the next Parliament.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.15

Our verdict

The purpose of this Trade Bill is to smooth the transition process of the UK leaving the European Union – to “allow the UK to continue its existing trade policy as far as possible immediately after Brexit”. The policy sits within the broader promise to support the global multilateral rules-based trade system.

This bill allows for changes to be made to UK laws, and is also important for the protection of both consumers and businesses. Its scope is restricted in that it only covers “agreements with countries with which the EU has signed a trade agreement before exit day – it does not cover “new” trade agreements”.

The Trade Bill 2017-19 was brought into the House of Commons in November 2017 and is currently  in the House of Lords. In summary, its purpose is to:

“Make provision about the implementation of international trade agreements; to make provision establishing the Trade Remedies Authority and conferring functions on it; and to make provision about the collection and disclosure of information relating to trade”.

It consists of 4 components:

  • Continuity Trade Agreements
  • Agreement on government procurement (GPA)
  • Trade remedies authority
  • Data collection and sharing

The bill is yet to gain Royal Assent, but this policy only promised to “introduce” the bill, not to pass the law. As promised, a Trade Bill has been introduced to Parliament. We can therefore mark this as ‘done’.

Introducing the details

There's always room for debate

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