Trade Bill (UK)

UPDATE : it has emerged during 9th January 2018 second reading, this Trade Bill may be restricted to the 65 trade arrangements with countries the UK already has access to under the EU Trade agreements. A second (more extensive) Trade Bill might be brought forward later.

Today the UK Government introduced the Trade Bill (at First Reading). The Trade Bill sets out measures that are required to build a future trade policy for the UK once it leaves the EU. These measures include:

(1) A power to ensure that the UK can implement any procurement obligations arising from the UK becoming a member of the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) in its own right. The GPA is a plurilateral agreement within the international WTO framework. The UK is currently a member by virtue of its EU membership and will re-join as an independent member.

(2) Measures to implement agreements with partner countries corresponding to the EU’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and other trade agreements in place before the UK’s exit from the EU. The Trade Bill includes a power for the Government to implement any changes to domestic law which will be necessary for the UK to meet obligations flowing from these agreements.

(3) A new Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) to deliver the new UK trade remedies framework. This TRA will be enabled to provide advice, support and assistance to the Secretary of State in connection with the conduct of international disputes and other functions of the Secretary of State relating to trade and functions of the TRA. The TRA may also provide such advice, support and assistance to other organisations on its own initiative.

(4) Power for HMRC to collect data on behalf of the government to confirm the number of exporters of goods and services in the UK and to be able to identify those exporters for trade promotion purposes.

(5) Power to establish a data sharing gateway between HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and other public and private bodies, so that those bodies, including Department for International Trade (DIT), can discharge their public functions and access record-level data for research, monitoring and evaluation.

The Trade Bill 2017-2019 and Explanatory Notes are here.

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