Ministers to set out post-Brexit plans in Trade Bill

Posted On: 
7th November 2017

The Government will today provide more detail on its plans for Britain's post-Brexit trading arrangements with the publication of a new Trade Bill.

Lorries queue at Dover ferry terminal in Kent
Credit: 
Lorries queue at Dover ferry terminal in Kent

The legislation includes plans to copy the agreements the UK already has as an EU member, as well as making sure British companies can access £1.3tn worth of foreign government contracts.

Although the UK is not able to formally negotiate any trade deals while still part of the bloc, Trade Secretary Liam Fox has started preliminary discussions with a number of countries. 

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There will also be a new body to defend UK firms against unfair trade practices around the world. 

Although the legislation - one of nine key Brexit bills - will be published today, it is not up for debate until a later date.

The Government faces major parliamentary hurdles getting through all its Brexit-related legislation, with the flagship EU Withdrawal Bill facing hundreds of amendments from across the parties.

MPs have also expressed concerns that ministers are taking on too much power through the use of statutory instruments known as 'Henry VIII clauses', which allow them to change legislation without a vote in the Commons.

WILBUR ROSS COMMENTS

Meanwhile, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said any future deal with the UK would mean ditching EU-derived legislation, including on importing chlorinated chicken. 

But Mr Ross said there was "all the logic in the world" in the two countries signing a free trade agreement.