Consent should be given to the UK Trade Bill, says Holyrood’s Finance & Constitution Committee


Holyrood’s Finance & Constitution Committee has recommended that the UK Trade Bill should be given the consent of the Scottish Parliament.

In a report published today, the committee says its essential, however, that the devolved institutions are involved at all stages of the trade negotiation process.

The recommendation comes 24 hours before the Scottish Parliament is set to vote on a legislative consent motion.

Finance & Constitution Committee Convener Bruce Crawford MSP said:

“The Trade Bill 2020 has addressed some of the significant concerns we raised as a committee when considering the 2017 Trade Bill - it has removed certain restrictions on the Scottish Government.

“That said, we remain of the view it is essential that the devolved institutions are involved at all stages of the trade negotiation process.

“It is important that the new Ministerial Forum for Trade provides for meaningful engagement between the UK Government and the devolved administrations, and allows for the four nations of the UK to develop a consensual position before the beginning of trade negotiations.

“It is also essential that the Ministerial Forum for Trade is accountable to the devolved legislatures enabling scrutiny of its decisions.

“We recommend that the Scottish Parliament agrees to the Legislative Consent Motion on the Trade Bill 2020.

Patrick Harvie MSP did not agree to the recommendation that consent be given

Background information

The Finance & Constitution Committee’s full report on the Trade Bill can be found here.

The motion for debate in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 7 October states:

That the Parliament agrees that the relevant provisions of the Trade Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 19 March 2020, which relate to the implementation of the Agreement on Government Procurement, the implementation of international obligations arising from UK trade agreements, which stem from existing EU trade agreements and the sharing of trade related information by public bodies, so far as these matters fall within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament or alter the executive functions of the Scottish Ministers, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

Media contact

Eric MacLeod

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