Exiting the EU Committee Select Committees


Exiting the EU Committee

Exiting the EU Committee's session on the progress of the UK's negotiations on EU withdrawal, with evidence from Pascal Lamy, former director general of World Trade Organisation.


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Transcript


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Order, order. Good morning. You are

most welcome. Thank you for giving

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up your time to give evidence to us

as a select committee today, drawing

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on a wide range of past experience

and expertise. You were a trade

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commissioner and former director of

the World Trade Organisation. You

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said at an Institute for Government

seminar that you thought that

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negotiating a new trade and economic

relationship between the United

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Kingdom and the European Union would

take, I think I am right in saying,

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between five and six years. Could

you set out for us why you think it

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would take that long and has

anything happened since you said

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that that has led you to revise that

timetable?

Thanks for having the

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honour for witnessing this

committee. From the very beginning

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just after the vote in 2016, I have

been thinking and saying I am now

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free enough to be saying what I

think. It is a great relief. After

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many years of restraints.

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Part of the omelette that was

created for many years, moving back

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from that these, inevitably in my

view, very complex issues. Leaving

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aside the politics of that and

getting this done is as difficult as

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getting out of an omelette. Just

after Brexit.

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I will need some time for

preparation. To answer your

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question, Mr Chairman, it will take

a long time because it is complex.

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It took many years for the European

Union to move from a comment market

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to the single market. When removed

from the comment market, and there

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is a difference between the markets,

I was chief of staff when he took

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this initiative in 1985. This

process of integration, mostly

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through regulatory work has been

going on for many years. Moving back

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from that will be complex and in my

view, for what it is worth, if there

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were many benefits in moving to

comment market and the single

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market...

OK, in the light of what

you have just said, at the moment

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the two parties are talking about a

transitional period, which, from my

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perspective will be a period where

negotiations have to take place

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because they will not be concluded

by October, ending in December 2020,

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presumably, in the light of what you

have just told us, you do not think

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it will be possible to do that by

December 2020?

That is what is on

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the table so far.

OK.

This is what I

understand people in Brussels and

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the UK Government agreed to so far.

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Subtitles will resume at 11pm

with The Week In Parliament.

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Exiting the EU Committee's session on the progress of the UK's negotiations on EU withdrawal, with evidence from Pascal Lamy, former director general of the World Trade Organisation (2005-2013), from Tuesday 27 February.


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