The Trade Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 18 March 2020, and replaces a similar UK Government Bill from the previous Parliamentary session.
The Bill covers five main areas:
- Procurement: the Bill gives the government powers relating to procurement. These are needed as the UK joins the Agreement on Government Procurement in its own right, rather than as an EU Member State
- Trade agreements: powers to ensure the UK Government can implement trade agreements. These powers apply only to UK agreements with countries which had a trade agreement with the EU on 31 January 2020
- Trade Remedies Authority (TRA): the Bill establishes the TRA. This body will have an important role to play in protecting UK industry against unfair trade from abroad
- Information: powers for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to collect information on the number of exporting businesses in the UK.
- Data sharing: a power to establish a data sharing gateway between HMRC and other public and private sector bodies to fulfil public functions relating to trade.
Lead Committee: Finance and Constitution Committee
SPICe has produced a blog article on the UK Trade Bill and what it means for the Scottish Parliament.
Any further SPICe briefings regarding the Bill will appear here once published.
Legislative Consent Memorandum
The UK Government has sought legislative consent from the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Government lodged a Legislative Consent Memorandum on 18 August 2020, which includes a draft motion to consent to the relevant sections of the Bill.