09/02/2017 Business Questions


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09/02/2017

Live coverage of the announcement of Commons business for the week ahead and questions to the Leader of the Commons David Lidington.


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review published in October. I expect to publish the

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recommendations and findings in the spring.

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Questions for the Secretary of State for International Trade, Thomas

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Simmonds. Mr Speaker, the EU Canada

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comprehensive economic trade agreement, CE GAA, is a good

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agreement for the UK. -- CETA. The UK Government is fully committed to

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supporting such agreements whilst we remain EU members. The investment

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protection provisions in CETA will have no impact on UK environment or

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legislation and they cannot force the UK or other parties to change

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their laws on the environment or on any other area of public policy.

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I'm grateful for that answer but many of my constituents are worried

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about as maintaining our current environmental standards post-Brexit.

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Could be Minister guarantee that whether this trade deal or any other

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trade deal the UK intends to make, that our current environmental

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standards will not be watered down? What I can tell him is that in

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trying in CETA and many other free-trade agreements it remains the

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UK's right to regulate in these areas, which would include key

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environmental protections, and there is nothing for example on the ICS

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system that would force the UK to change its environmental

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regulations. I notice however, Mr Speaker, that the honourable

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gentleman voted against CETA yesterday. But he may not know that

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when CETA was debated in this House on Monday in committee, the official

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opposition was actually in favour of it.

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Michael Fabricant. Has my honourable friend heard of...

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It is the plan being proposed within the Canadian Parliament for a

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Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom trade partnership

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after Brexit? Does he share my enthusiasm for this?

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Mr Speaker, I saw this proposal and we are very enthusiastic about the

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future of UK trade with Canada. I would repeat that we are currently

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supportive of CETA going through and we think it is very important for

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the UK for the European Union and for Canada, and we will be doing

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what we can to campaign for that to go through, not least in the face of

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the new-found opposition by Her Majesty's opposition.

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If I could point out to the Minister, but a majority of the

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Labour members voted for the trade deal. And given that Canada is such

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a long-standing Commonwealth friend, Ally, and defence and trade partner,

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cookie onto this basic question? In a post-Brexit world, if we can't do

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a deal with Canada, who the hell can we do a deal with?

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Thank you very much indeed for that question. He is right that more

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Labour MPs voted for CETA, 86 and 68 against, and over 100 ab staining.

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This agreement took eight years to gestate and you would have thought

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that the opposition would have got that the opposition would have got

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its act together by now. In terms of a particular point, I also quote

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from one of his colleagues he said, quote, if we can't support eight

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trade deal with liberal, Justin Trudeau led Canada, who do we

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support trade deals with? LAUGHTER

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Post-Brexit, will be CETA deal be transitioned into a bilateral

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arrangement, or will vary to be a fresh Canada- UK agreement?

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My honourable friend raises an interesting point and I think we

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will have to look at that when we come to it. What would say is that

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there is a number of important aspects of the CETA deal that we

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might look to replicate in a future deal, but for the time being the UK,

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European Union, remain strongly European Union, remain strongly

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supportive of CETA going through. I heard the honourable gentleman

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opposite saying he was indeed the backbencher named in the article

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which refer to him as an unnamed backbencher, so it is good to see he

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is now named and supporting the Labour Party, and their traditional

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friends in Canada and the Liberal party.

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Question two, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the Government will lead

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the way ensuring countries have their opportunity to trade their way

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out of property. While the UK is a member of the EU, we remain

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committed to economic partnership could agreements, a general ice cube

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of preferences, and we are working closely with the Department for

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International Development to ensure the global trading system of the

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future is as fair and as free as possible.

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Many thanks, Mr Speaker. Trading with developing countries is crucial

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to providing jobs and livelihoods for sustainable development goals.

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Will the Secretary of State committed to fair trade principles

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in relation to future trade deals with developing countries to ensure

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local populations can benefit sustainably and that it condiments

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the work of different people in my constituency and beyond?

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Let me join the honourable lady to contribute to a fair trade campaign.

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It is reporting to ensure that farmers receive a fair price for

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their products, and that agricultural workers receive better

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workers, and agricultural practices are made more sustainable. As

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Britain leads the EU, outside the common external tariff, there will

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be freedom to do something things she recommends.

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When we look at west African cocoa, East African coffee, Tunisian

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olives, we find that the cause of unfair trade policy is the European

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Union. Will he agree that what we can set our own tariffs outside the

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common external tariff of the EU, we can help those countries trade their

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way out of poverty? Mr Speaker, this Government is

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committed to an open and liberal trading system. That is one of the

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best ways to help poor countries, to have an even greater liberalisation

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than we have today. When we are outside the common external tariff

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of the EU, we will have an opportunity unilaterally to have new

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opportunities as he suggests. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The 21st

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century offers us an opportunity to build on our pride and identity as a

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nation which promotes human rights, workers' rights and environmental

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protection, all part of fair trade principles. How will the Government

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build on this part of our national identity in trade negotiations?

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We are already playing a part in that. Britain played a major role in

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the WTO or arrangement, which will come into effect in a short time,

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trade facilitation agreement. That will be worth about ?70 billion to

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the global economy, and for some of the poorest countries, such as

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sub-Saharan Africa, that will be worth about ?10 billion, a major

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contribution to them and we should be proud.

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In my role as the Prime Minister's trade envoy to Nigeria...

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Bravo! Will he join me in encouraging

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Nigeria to show the benefits of trade widely with its people?

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That is a message I will be taking when they make a visit to Nigeria

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myself in the not distant future. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The

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Department of International trade supports efforts to grow the UK's

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space Centre, and we work closely with the UK space agency for growth.

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In January I led a UK space agency mission to the US where I advocated

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the UK had an attractive market for space sector companies. We intend to

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highlight progress in Manchester in May. UK Export Finance offers

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finance to help UK-based companies in the space sector.

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It is great to hear that the UK is fast becoming a world leader in the

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space sector, but can right honourable friend inform the house

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on his efforts to secure foreign direct investment into the UK to

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support domestic growth in this industry?

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My honourable friend is right to raise the importance of the sector.

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The numbers are fantastic, six times the average development investment,

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and 2.7 times the average productivity in the UK. In the last

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few years, we have supported 19 successful investment project in

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this sector and will continue to work with the Department of business

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energy and industrial strategy to deliver UK space innovation and

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growth into the future. The encrypted public service

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channels of the new Galileo space navigation system are restricted to

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the EU member states. What steps will the Government take post-Brexit

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to ensure the Government has access to Galileo, which we invested in?

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Galileo is the satellite navigation system put up by the European Space

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Agency, by the European Union. This is something which is one of the

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many different things we have to negotiate over the coming years. The

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use of spectrum is one of the most incredible things, because Spectrum

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is limited to this area. This is something the Government will be

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looking at as one of many other things, many important things to

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look at. I assure him this is a... Spectrum is a valuable asset to this

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country and we will make sure we get our fair share.

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Since 23rd June the UK has continued to attract investment from global

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technology companies, including Facebook expanding by 50% in the UK.

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Google pledging to invest ?1 billion. Snap chat's new global HQ

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in London and more. This showcases the UK's leading capability through

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our overseas network and through our digital platform.

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The global market for smart City technologies alone is something in

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the region of $400 billion. British firms lead the way in many of the

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specialisations. However, we could win more contracts if there was a UK

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approach to having a complete City solution. Could I encourage

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ministers to promote greater collaboration between businesses and

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Government. ? My honourable friend is correct. I agree with everything

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he said, in terms of the size of the UK capability, the size of the

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potential market and the need to have a team UK approach, which I

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spoke about recently when I visited his APPG, just two weeks ago. And Mr

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Speaker, in addition I can announce today two UK companies that secured

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a contract worth tens of millions of pounds to build a new head quarters

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in the UAE with support of UK Export Finance, showing the UK remains very

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much open for business. Mr Speaker, the number one tech

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Brexit worry is when we leave, it will become unlawful to send

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personal data from Europe into the UK unless we've achieved a

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declaration made by the European Commission about our privacy

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arrangements. Will that declaration be achieved in time? Well, Mr

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Speaker, I was in the previous question and I heard him ask

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precisely the same question. Of the technology minister and the UK is

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committed to implementing the global agreement, committing to make sure

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this will work for the UK once we transition outside of the European

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Union. Thank you, Mr Speaker. I welcome the British business banks

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funding. Will it ensure that Britain get their fair share so the rev

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lulings can continue? -- revolution can continue. May I thank him on the

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fourth Industrial Revolution in this House and beyond as being a key

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advocate not just in the UK, but around the world, in making sure the

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UK takes advantage of its great strengths in technological

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expertise? Figures published by the centre for City show that Glasgow's

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exports were worth... Where the technology sector in Glasgow, will

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the Secretary of State consider the Scottish Government's proposals in

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Scotland place in Europe to keep Scotland in the single market? I am

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very sympathetic to Glasgow maintaining its exports and

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capability in smart cities. The UK and the department for international

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trade we follow the whole of the UK approach, often working with key

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partners like Scotland development international. However, I will point

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out, that more important is Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom,

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where some four times as much of Scottish produce and capabilities

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exported within the United Kingdom, compared to the European Union.

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Thank you. British tech firms have been unable to go to two US trade

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shows and look unlikely to attend a top conference in Singapore, due to

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extensive delays from his department in announcing trade access

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partnership funding L he go back to the department and conif irm the

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funding so British businesses can attend trade shows and play their

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part in boosting our exports and economy? Well, Mr Speaker t

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department for international trade continually reviews its products and

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services to ensure that they meet its customer needs and republic good

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value for the -- and represent good value for the taxpayer. It will be

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completed shortly. So we will confirm events shortly.

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Mr Speaker, building on my visit to Taiwan in September, we will

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continue to work with the Taiwanese authorities to address market issues

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and to further increase our trade in this important market. The UK and

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Taiwan share a favourable outlook on Fairtrade. Bilateral trade reached

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?5.9 billion in 2014, up 8% compared to 2010.

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I am pleased the minister met with the President last September. I hope

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he shares my belief, as Britain reaches out to secure more trade

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deals that we keep in site our foreign policy values. Does the

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minister agree that increased trade with Taiwan and the UK is a win for

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both our economies but also for our Liberal Democratic values? I very

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much agree with the honourable gentleman. The EC and Taiwan share

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so -- UK and Taiwan share so many commitments. The protection of a

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free society and we have very strongly shared values of free

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trade, open markets and openness to foreign investment. I had very

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productive talks with the President herself when I was there in

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September, who is a big friend of the United Kingdom, not least due to

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her undergraduate time at the London School of Economics.

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I know the minister will be aware that back in 2008 Taiwan was granted

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Commonwealth nations research membership and as such they will

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look to the Commonwealth Trade Minister's meeting taking place here

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in London in March L the minister confirm that trade with the

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Commonwealth is a top priority for this Government after we leave the

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European Union. Will he commit to ensure that during that trade

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meeting as many members of this House, from all sides can be

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involved to ensure that relationships with Commonwealth

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parliamentarians are key? Yes. Mr Speaker, I think in terms of both

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trade with Taiwan and with the Commonwealth, this department

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remains extremely supportive of members being involved. I expect in

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relation to the Trade Minister's meeting forthcoming, in terms of

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specific engagements with parliamentarians I would hope to see

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the CPA involved in those discussions. With trade deals in

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place for the likes of whisky and Northern Ireland products, can the

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minister say he uses the success of the long life dairy supplied to

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dairies across the world? Well, Mr Speaker when I returned to Taiwan,

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when I held talks with the Taiwan authorities in September,

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agricultural produce was at the centre of talks. We talked about

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pork exports, we talked about poultry exports and we mentioned,

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made some progress on Scottish whisky. Taiwan is Scottish's third

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largest global market. We made some important progress on seeking

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Scottish whisky being certified by Taiwan. I know a lot of businesses

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focus on the China market for obvious reasons. When I led a

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delegation as a party in September to Taiwan I witnessed a vibrant

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economy. Does he agree if British businesses ignore Taiwan they are

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missing a trick? I totally agree with my honourable friend. In fact

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he and I were in Taiwan at roughly the same time back in September. I

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applaud the work that he does for the APPG, for Taiwan. Taiwan has a

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long-standing open market to UK goods and services. We need to make

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sure that we work hard to remove the few remaining barriers there are.

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That was the purpose of the talks in September. I think the message from

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this House should go out loud and clear to British businesses that

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Taiwan is a very good place for them to do their business.

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Thank you, Mr Speaker. Does my honourable friend see any reason why

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this will not continue after we leave the EU? Mr Speaker... Thank

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you, Mr Speaker. Number six. The South-West connects companies in

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Cornwall across the world. Cornish companies in all sectors can access

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a full range of department for international trade services. We

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have launched the great dot gove website. New Cornish exportses step

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into the place and help compete in high growth markets. There's been a

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flurry of businesses producing food, drink and other goods. There's no

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doubt about the quality of their produce. Very few of these products,

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food and drink go beyond Cornish borders, let alone overseas. Will

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the minister accept an invitation to meet with these producers and help

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them expand their markets? As my Right Honourable friend knows my

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family have roots in corner over 100 family have roots in corner over 100

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years, which means we are no longer an in-comer. He is a south-west MP.

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He has met with Cornish producers. I am a frequent visitor to the county.

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At the very first opportunity I will go with him to meet his constituents

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and across the whole of Cornwall in order to explore ways we can really

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push this fantastic county's product. Thank you very much.

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Question number seven. Mr Speaker, I launched a trade

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policy dialogue with the New Zealand Trade Minister to consider how we

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can strengthen our economic ties. Last month the Prime Minister met

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with the Prime Minister of New Zealand land and agreed for work on

:21:07.:21:12.

a new agreement between the UK and New Zealand once the UK leaves the

:21:13.:21:19.

European Union. Thank you very much. THE SPEAKER: The Government wanted

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it to be grouped with number nine. Indeed. We are grateful. Thank you

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very much Mr Speaker. I warmly welcome the early and constructive

:21:33.:21:36.

dialogue with our colleagues and friends in New Zealand. Will my

:21:37.:21:40.

Right Honourable friend do all he can to explore every opportunity of

:21:41.:21:46.

bilateral trade with New Zealand, including the natural sin any gis

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between our rural economies I very much agree. The UK exported over

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?1.2 billion goods to New Zealand last year and opportunities for our

:21:57.:22:00.

rural businesses will be an important part of the work as we

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take forward dialogue with New Zealand, which I intend to visit

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over the summer months. Thank you Mr Speaker. This year the

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British New Zealand business asoishation reaches its --

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association reaches its centenary. I have experience of the warmth

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between our two countries. Does the minister agree with me that there is

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a hope and that we look forward to a great increase in trade between our

:22:30.:22:34.

two countries in the years ahead? Mr Speaker, I certainly hope that will

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be possible, given the freedom we'll have outside the European Union to

:22:38.:22:40.

negotiate such a free trade agreement. In fact it is not just

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our two countries that will benefit, all countries around the globe will

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benefit from the new global Britain and our attitude towards global free

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trade with all the benefits it brings, especially to the world's

:22:57.:23:01.

poor. The Secretary of State will know that New Zealand is a land of

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30 million sheep. Six or seven sheep for every person. Has the Secretary

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of State discussed the impact of a trade deal with the leader of the

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National Farmers Union. They regard the combination of a 43% WTO tariff

:23:15.:23:21.

on sheep meat and increased market access for New Zealand as

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potentially fatal to our sheep farmers. How will the minister

:23:25.:23:28.

protect them? As I said, that will be an important

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part of our discussions. We will want to discuss with the NFU and

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others how we do that. We need to take into account something which is

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not mentioned very often, the interests of UK consumers in any

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trade deal we come to. Question one. There are three tasks,

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promoting exports, serving the why, maximising opportunities for wealth

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creation, including through overseas direct investment, to support the

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current account and negotiate the best trading framework for the UK

:24:10.:24:13.

outside the EU. On terms of investment, I can announce that

:24:14.:24:18.

Mcclarn will open a ?50 million manufacturing plant in Sheffield

:24:19.:24:20.

which will create 200 new jobs. Given how desperate the

:24:21.:24:34.

International Secretary is to negotiate a trade deal with the US,

:24:35.:24:39.

what steps will be taken to make sure that Scottish farmers are not

:24:40.:24:44.

on the cup? The quality produce will be a source of negotiation, but in

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terms of undercutting Scottish economy, what I am told by investors

:24:51.:24:54.

in the United States is that one of the things hanging over them that is

:24:55.:24:59.

actually depressing investment opportunities is the threat of

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separation. I welcome the recent establishment of a UK Israel trade

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working group. We have seen bilateral trade between the UK and

:25:14.:25:18.

is well increase year after year. Can the Secretary of State provide

:25:19.:25:22.

further information about how the group works and does he share my

:25:23.:25:25.

view that the Middle Eastern democracy should be one of our first

:25:26.:25:30.

trade deals? My honourable friend is right to highlight the good trade

:25:31.:25:37.

system we have with Israel. It was announced there will be a working

:25:38.:25:41.

group on trade by the Prime Minister earlier in the week, but the EU

:25:42.:25:47.

already has a trade arrangement with Israel and this is something in the

:25:48.:25:50.

first instance we would look to continue. But I am sure there will

:25:51.:25:55.

be many opportunities where we can improve on that, given the fact the

:25:56.:26:00.

trade deal was done with one country and 28 and bilateral will be easier

:26:01.:26:04.

to negotiate. The Secretary of State had promised that had he had the

:26:05.:26:11.

opportunity to debate the trade agreement on the floor of the house,

:26:12.:26:15.

but the promise was broken and the debate was sidelined to an obscure

:26:16.:26:22.

committee earlier this week. Given that the UK will soon be responsible

:26:23.:26:25.

for negotiating is an international trade deals following Brexit, what

:26:26.:26:31.

assurances can the Secretary of State can be House that

:26:32.:26:35.

parliamentarians will have the full opportunity to scrutinise such trade

:26:36.:26:41.

deals in future and not be afforded the discourtesy that we have been

:26:42.:26:46.

recently. It is not an obscure committee. It was a two and a half

:26:47.:26:51.

hour debate in committee room ten following the proper procedures set

:26:52.:26:55.

out by this House. At the end of the debate she failed to oppose

:26:56.:27:07.

anything, yet in the Scottish Parliament yesterday they voted

:27:08.:27:09.

against it en masse. They have changed their position on something

:27:10.:27:14.

that has been debated for eight years in the space of 24 hours. Many

:27:15.:27:20.

Cornishmen and women emigrated to seek work in the New Zealand in the

:27:21.:27:23.

late 19th century. Will my honourable friend now support other

:27:24.:27:30.

great Cornish exports, our wonderful produce, such as Cornish side

:27:31.:27:36.

produced in my constituency? It is good to see the far west of the

:27:37.:27:44.

country is being well represented on a one line whip. There are fantastic

:27:45.:27:51.

products coming from her constituency, with many

:27:52.:27:56.

award-winning brands. It is the job of the Department of International

:27:57.:28:02.

trade to push exports from Cornwall to the four corners of the globe.

:28:03.:28:06.

When I read to the Secretary of State in November to asked for an

:28:07.:28:10.

investigation into his department was Mac support for any British

:28:11.:28:14.

businesses engaging corrupt practices, he replied saying his

:28:15.:28:18.

department had no power to conduct such an investigation. Last week

:28:19.:28:23.

after the publicity surrounding Rolls-Royce's deferred prosecution,

:28:24.:28:27.

he announced precisely such an investigation. When did the powers

:28:28.:28:30.

of his department change? One will enquiry report back and why will he

:28:31.:28:36.

-- and well he explained why he has not complied with the principles of

:28:37.:28:40.

the OECD anti-bribery and corruption? Rolls-Royce has made it

:28:41.:28:45.

clear it will not tolerate improper business of any sort. They continue

:28:46.:28:52.

to operate with the Serious Fraud Office and we await the final

:28:53.:28:55.

outcome. It would not be proper to comment before that. The details of

:28:56.:29:12.

the statements... To contribute the trend of south-west transporting, a

:29:13.:29:28.

large company has won a contract to provide technology to Indonesia.

:29:29.:29:33.

While his department work with me to produce a short story to capture the

:29:34.:29:42.

story and to encourage other SMEs? I'm sure my honourable friend had

:29:43.:29:48.

something to do with that. Absolutely. We would all be

:29:49.:29:52.

delighted to help in any way we can to help promote this investment. A

:29:53.:30:03.

hard Tory Brexit will be damaging for the Scottish aerospace industry

:30:04.:30:06.

which contributes more than 130 million to the Scottish economy.

:30:07.:30:11.

Will assurances be provided that the Scottish aerospace sector will have

:30:12.:30:15.

barrier free access to the European single market? It has been the very

:30:16.:30:20.

clear aim of the government to ensure tariff and barrier free

:30:21.:30:25.

access once we leave the European Union and that's what we intend to

:30:26.:30:30.

negotiate. The Scottish aerospace industry will be stronger for being

:30:31.:30:33.

represented by all of the United Kingdom. Does he agree with me that

:30:34.:30:39.

company registration using a company 's house type model is important to

:30:40.:30:44.

promote the economies of developing companies seeking foreign direct

:30:45.:30:47.

investment and it's also good news for the UK financial services sector

:30:48.:30:51.

that will follow on from such a scheme? My honourable friend makes

:30:52.:31:01.

an important general point in a specific question. One we have an

:31:02.:31:10.

open trading system, it is a win- win. The economies can benefit from

:31:11.:31:20.

sharing the same system. How many employees have the Civil Service

:31:21.:31:26.

recruited. We are adding 50 extra staff to our trade policy group and

:31:27.:31:31.

will continue to do so. We will be increasing the numbers as we look at

:31:32.:31:35.

our WTO numbers and our obligations there. Also one we look to the FTA

:31:36.:31:42.

is that we have. The current number of 200 will be augmented as we go

:31:43.:31:59.

forward. -- FTAs. We take an ongoing and continuous interest in the still

:32:00.:32:05.

sector. It is obviously a sector facing difficulty at the moment that

:32:06.:32:09.

the low global steel price, but we do see a good future for UK steel

:32:10.:32:13.

and the Department of International Trade looks forward to taking part

:32:14.:32:16.

in a hollow government approach to make sure that UK steel is sold the

:32:17.:32:23.

board. Order. Urgent question. Yvette Cooper. To of the Home

:32:24.:32:28.

Secretary to make a statement on the government 's decision to close

:32:29.:32:29.