Trade (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) Bill [HL]

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Moved by
Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton Portrait Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton
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That the Bill be now read a second time.

Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton Portrait The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs (Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton) (Con) (Maiden Speech)
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My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Johnson of Lainston, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time.

It is truly an honour to stand at this Dispatch Box and make my maiden speech in this House. I have always respected the work that is done here, so often a patient, diligent and considered complement to the other place. I hope to play a full part in your Lordships’ House. Indeed, I was in the other place for only 15 years, 11 of which were as leader of the Opposition or Prime Minister, so I hope that I can look forward to many more years in this House. When I look at the ornate, carved wooden panels that surround us and compare them with my now infamous shepherd’s hut, I can tell your Lordships that this is already a significant upgrade.

I thank my introducers—the Lord Privy Seal, my noble friend Lord True, and the Government Chief Whip, my noble friend Lady Williams of Trafford. I have to admit that I recommended them both for the peerage. Indeed, I am in what Margaret Thatcher described in her maiden speech here as a

“delicate position … responsible as Prime Minister for proposing the elevation to this House”—[Official Report, 2/7/1992; col. 897.]

of quite so many of its current Members. I hope that noble Lords will forgive me for my part in putting—how can I put it?—space here at a premium. I note that the Liberal Democrat Benches are particularly full. I always said to my Deputy Prime Minister, partner and friend Nick Clegg that his party would feel the benefit of participating in the coalition for many years to come. I just did not predict exactly how that would manifest itself. I also thank Black Rod, the doorkeepers, the police and other staff for facilitating my introduction yesterday and for warmly welcoming me back to Parliament.

I first set foot in this place as a teenager in the 1980s, when I worked briefly as a parliamentary researcher. I watched from the Gallery as Lord Macmillan, aged 90 and leaning elegantly on a stick, delivered his maiden speech. It was a thoughtful, measured evisceration of the late Lady Thatcher’s Government and their handling of the miners’ strike. I intend no such censure for my successor in 10 Downing Street. Indeed, wanting to serve under Rishi Sunak, whom I believe is a strong and capable Prime Minister, was one of the reasons why I accepted his offer of this role.

I had two former party leaders in my Cabinet, alongside many veterans of Tory leadership campaigns, one of whom was the noble Lord, Lord Clarke, and I valued all their advice. I hope that some of my experience will help the Prime Minister in meeting the vital challenges that we face as a country. That said, it was a surprise to be asked. I have not been sitting like some latter-day de Gaulle at Colombey-les-Deux-Églises waiting to be asked—how shall I put it?—to take back control. Nor am I Cincinnatus, hovering over my plough. I leave all classical allusions—and illusions, for that matter—to another former Prime Minister with whom I shared a number of educational experiences.

There is a strong precedent for Members of this House from all parties serving in the Cabinet—Peter Carington, Alec Douglas-Home and, more recently, the noble Lords, Lord Mandelson, Lord Adonis and Lord Frost, and the noble Baroness, Lady Morgan of Cotes. Like all of them, I respect the primacy of the other place. As tradition dictates, a Secretary of State who sits in the Lords is mirrored by the most senior Minister in their department. That Minister is the right honourable Andrew Mitchell MP, who will deputise for me in the other place. I believe that he will do an excellent job.

I look forward to answering noble Lords’ Questions monthly and will appear before all the relevant committees. I recognise my responsibilities to this House and am happy to consider other appropriate mechanisms so that Parliament is able to scrutinise all the work of my department.

The noble Lord, Lord Mandelson, sent me a particularly charming welcome, but he pointed out that I am a comeback novice, as this is only my first compared with his three. I suppose my response should be to point out that to make three comebacks you need both his prodigious talent and to be sacked twice by the Prime Minister, which is a fate I hope to avoid.

I take my seat bearing the title of Chipping Norton. In fact, the first message I received after my appointment was from the vicar’s wife, making sure that I would take the town’s name, but I am not claiming divine intervention; it was an easy choice. This beautiful place is one of the west Oxfordshire towns I represented in Parliament. It is the place where I brought up my children and the place our family still considers home.

The Chippy Larder food project, where I volunteered for over two years after the start of the pandemic, will have to manage without me for a while. Last year, three of us loaded up a lorry full of food, clothes and supplies, and drove it to the Red Cross centre on the Polish-Ukrainian border. Our leader was Rizvana Poole who, Members will be pleased to hear in a House that values cross-party collaboration, is one of the town’s Labour councillors.

It was a privilege to make my first visit as Foreign Secretary to Ukraine last week. I told the President how much we all admire the bravery and fortitude of the Ukrainian people. We will stand with them for as long as it takes. I was proud to hear him describe Britain as their best partner in their struggle.

His country’s plight is a reminder of the great challenges we face. The things we take for granted— freedom, the rule of law, democracy—are under threat across the world. These are daunting times: invasion in Europe, war in the Middle East, climate change, growing world poverty, illegal migration, threats of terrorism and new pandemics. It has never been clearer that our domestic security depends upon global security.

We must approach these challenges from a position of strength. Our Foreign Office, Diplomatic Service, intelligence services, and aid and development capabilities are some of the finest assets of their kind anywhere in the world, and I have seen at first hand the professionalism, passion and patriotism of the people who staff them. I know that they have been expertly and diligently represented in this House for many years by my noble friend Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, with whom I am proud to work.

As Prime Minister, I learned that the respect we command overseas also depends on success at home. We certainly did not get everything right but, over six years, we smashed some of the big political orthodoxies. We showed that you can grow the economy and cut carbon emissions, cut the deficit and create jobs, achieve the best school results in the poorest areas and start to build a society that is multi-ethnic, multiracial, proud and patriotic. Today, with a British-Indian Prime Minister at our helm, we have a good opportunity to do all those things and ensure that we stand taller and stronger in the world.

I turn to the subject of today’s debate. The UK will join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, otherwise known as CPTPP. This Bill helps to make that happen. This is an age of rapid growth in the Indo-Pacific region, and the political shifts we face are the first reason to support this Bill. Countries in the Indo-Pacific are expected to drive the majority of global growth between now and 2050. I want to continue this Government’s work to deepen our relationships with this region and support shared security and prosperity.

We have signed the AUKUS pact with the US and Australia, and the Hiroshima accord with Japan. We have become a dialogue partner of ASEAN and agreed ground-breaking digital deals with Singapore. Membership of this vast global trade area is the next vital step on this journey, putting the UK at the heart of a group of some of the world’s most dynamic economies. It will bring us even closer on pressing challenges such as climate change, give us a new impetus to influence geopolitical competition around rules and norms, and help diversify our supply chains and therefore support our economic resilience.

The second reason for passing this Bill is the economic benefit this deal brings to the UK. Britain will join 11 countries spanning Asia and the Americas, with a combined population of 500 million people. We will have access to a combined GDP of nearly £12 trillion—15% of global GDP. This deal positions British companies to expand in new markets, giving us, for instance, our first trade deal with Malaysia—an economy worth almost £330 billion last year. It means more than 99% of the UK’s current exports to other members become eligible for tariff-free trade. The deal’s ambitious service provisions should also boost the £32 billion of services that British firms already sold to these countries last year.

UK businesses will be operating more on a par with local firms. Red tape can be cut and data localisation requirements removed. Traders will have more certainty, and it looks set to increase our attractiveness to global finance, even as competition for capital grows ever more intense.

Investors such as Japanese firm Fujitsu, an employer of more than 7,000 people here in Britain, see great promise from the deal. Free trade is good for British businesses, creating new opportunities and spurring innovation. I firmly believe that it benefits British consumers as well. Tariff reductions mean cheaper import prices, better choice and higher quality on a whole range of things, whether it is fruit juice from Peru or vacuum cleaners from Malaysia.

The final reason for deserving your Lordships’ support is the precise scope of the Bill. While the deal itself is wide-ranging, in many areas it does not require comprehensive UK legislation. The Bill therefore focuses on those few areas where we need primary legislation to meet our new obligations.

First, it covers technical barriers to trade. Conformity assessment bodies such as the British Standards Institution exist to assure consumers that a product meets certain standards. The Bill will allow for conformity assessment bodies established in other participating countries to apply for approval here in the UK, but I can assure noble Lords that these provisions will not change British product standards.

Next, on government procurement, the Bill will ensure that suppliers from participating countries have access on an equal footing to those UK procurements covered by the agreement. We have responded to the devolved Administrations’ previous concerns about the use of concurrent powers in such Bills by drafting these provisions in consultation with them. I believe that shows our commitment to working across all nations of the UK to forge a common approach.

Finally, on intellectual property, the Bill will align our approach to copyright with that of other members. For instance, it will expand the basis on which foreign performers can qualify for rights here in the UK. It will also align our approach to geographical indications and designations of origin, which I am happy to say is good news for things such as Lincolnshire sausages, Cheddar cheese and of course Scotch whisky.

In each of these specific areas, UK bodies and businesses will benefit from corresponding treatment in other participating countries. The Bill therefore reduces a whole series of complex obstacles to trade, including copyright, patent, standards and public procurement. These points are often underappreciated, but they will benefit UK businesses and consumers alike.

Noble Lords may well ask whether these benefits come at the expense of things we should hold dear. I believe that this is not the case, and I want to run through some of the concerns that have been expressed. Will it lower our own high standards on food and product safety, animal welfare, the environment or workers’ rights? No, we will change none of these in order to accede, and we will continue to set our own standards here in the UK. What about the issue of undercutting farmers? We have negotiated both quotas and transitional safeguards for agricultural imports. The National Farmers’ Union president, Minette Batters, has spoken of the deal’s potential, as she put it,

“to get more fantastic British food on plates overseas”.

There are often concerns expressed about the NHS and so-called privatisation by the back door. Let me be clear; the NHS and its services were never on the table in these negotiations. If you want to see the Government do more in this Pacific region to end unsustainable palm oil farming or to champion human rights, this agreement will increase UK influence in the region, which we can bring to bear on all of these vital issues.

Ultimately, we retain flexibility with this deal. We will continue to set our standards, determine our foreign policy and make the trade arrangements that best suit us with others in the future.

I look forward to hearing as much as possible of the forthcoming debate. I might have to be excused before it ends, should business continue into the evening, to welcome the President of South Korea at the state banquet hosted by His Majesty the King. The Opposition Front Bench has been very generous and understanding on this point, and I want to thank them. I also thank my noble friend Lord Johnson of Lainston, who has brought enormous private sector experience into the Government. He has led the work on this Bill and will respond to all your Lordships’ questions when closing.

This is a narrow Bill, but the benefits are considerable. With others queuing up to join the CPTPP, the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has ensured that the UK got in there first. The deal offers possibilities for our whole country, from distilleries in Dorset to AI pioneers in Wales, car part manufacturers in Northern Ireland and digital forensic experts in Scotland. It is an investment in a brighter future—and I should know, because I was the future once.

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Lord Frost Portrait Lord Frost (Con)
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My Lords, it is a pleasure to support the Government on this important Bill at Second Reading, and to congratulate my noble friend on his excellent maiden speech. I must say that I cannot claim quite the same experience of the noble Lord’s time as Prime Minister as others who have spoken so far today. I was, for part of the time, a humble bureaucrat in the system, working for Vince Cable on EU trade agreements—so we are none of us perfect—and then as head of the Scotch Whisky Association. I must say that, while I was doing that job, his Government either froze or cut the duty on Scotch whisky, to which he alluded in his speech—a policy which has since, regrettably, fallen into abeyance. Perhaps his return to government will herald a change in that policy as well. Who knows? I guess we are going to find out tomorrow.

In this context, I pay tribute also not just to my right honourable friend the current Secretary of State for Business and Trade, who got this agreement over the line, but to her three predecessors who kept the CPTPP on the agenda when it was not obvious that it would stay on it. I single out in particular my right honourable friend Dr Liam Fox, who kept the prospect of joining the CPTPP alive in a Government who, at times, seemed—how shall we put it?—unduly attached to remaining part of the EU customs union and other trading arrangements. Of course, if they had succeeded in that, it would have precluded CPTPP accession and we would not be having the discussion we are having today—so he deserves to be congratulated on that.

I will say just a word about the process that we are in. I think it is fair to say that I do not always agree with my former mentor, the noble Lord, Lord Kerr, who spoke earlier, but I do agree with the points he made about the process. It is a little strange that, after Brexit, the degree of scrutiny and the ability to comment, shape and, indeed, vote on major trade agreements that this Parliament has in both of its Houses is actually weaker than when this country was a member of the European Union. Obviously, I supported and worked for Brexit and I do not think it is right that we have less ability to shape these things than we did when we were in the EU. I have said that to Select Committees of this House and of the other place. We should look at that in the interests of democratic scrutiny and developing a trade policy that we can all buy into in the future. I hope that can be looked at one day.

We have heard a lot already about the economic benefits of accession to this trade agreement. I will not repeat what has been said already, but I want to highlight a couple of slightly more technical points. First, the rules of origin provisions in this agreement are generous—unusually so. They provide for full accumulation, as has been said. That is potentially of considerable value and will be of particular benefit to firms, perhaps especially SMEs, that seek to diversify and make secure their supply chains, away from China perhaps in particular, because many will need to do that in the coming years. Indeed, many are already doing it. Of course, as the CPTPP enlarges, that will become a more worthwhile provision—so, again, it is very good to see that we will be part of that.

I also want to highlight the value of the arrangements for conformity assessment bodies in Clause 2. I note in passing that the EU refused us these arrangements during the negotiation of the trade and co-operation agreement, so it is good to see that, at least in some of our trade agreements, we are part of them. It is the difference between being part of a trade agreement that is genuinely about facilitating trade and one that is about a power relationship between the two partners. So, once again, it is very good that we are part of that. Of course, it should go without saying—but I do not think it has been said yet—that we get all the benefits of the CPTPP without having to pay in £15 billion a year to the budget or make ourselves subject to a foreign court to get them.

So much for the economics; the key arguments for the CPTPP are more strategic than purely economic. I will briefly highlight three aspects. The first is diversification of our national trade policy. As we all know, increasing openness and competitive forces on our own economy is crucial to boosting productivity and growth, so it is not surprising, although a bit disappointing, to hear from some noble Lords a set of worries about precisely that openness to competitive forces, whether on ISDS, food, agriculture or on much else. The problem we have in this country is not too much competition but too little, and trade agreements are designed to boost that competition, boost efficiency and bring more growth.

Since leaving the EU, we have not pushed as far as we should in this direction. Indeed, our trade policy so far can be seen as in many ways a giant preference scheme in favour of the European Union. That is particularly true in agriculture, where EU goods enter without tariffs and quotas; no other trading partners have that at the moment, so it is vital that we open this up, and begin to open up our trading options globally. The CPTPP is part of this. It is a bit disappointing that in our accession protocol the transition to zero-tariff access for some agricultural products is a little slow, and even includes permanent quotas in one or two places. I understand the political logic that has led to that, because the NFU is a mighty power in the land, but this will defer some of the gains to our consumers. Again, it is something that we might look at one day in the future and take a more liberal approach.

The second strategic aspect of CPTPP is about embedding our engagement with east Asia, particularly with close allies such as Japan. The Indo-Pacific tilt is clearly more than just a tilt, and CPTPP goes with AUKUS and the ASEAN dialogue partner status as one of the three pillars of strategic engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. Indeed, let us hope that there will be a fourth pillar before too long, in the form of an FTA with India.

The third and final aspect is the signal that CPTPP membership gives about this country’s global trade policy aspirations and role. As the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, said, it is to be deplored that we are moving to a world of blocs, industrial policy and protectionism. Although there is room for a little more focus on national security in trade and investment, this development will generally see reduced incomes, reduced growth and probably further international tensions.

By its very existence, the CPTPP can and does already stand for something different. It is a different kind of grouping; it is a group of mid-size but extremely important powers that support open and global free trade. They are an open and free-trading counterweight to set against these broader undesirable global trends. It is absolutely natural for Britain to be part of that arrangement and to push for these things further within the CPTPP at a global level. Maybe in winding up, or later, the Minister could set out a little more what the aspirations to use the CPTPP are, and what ability it gives us to shape and broaden out our own trade policy, now and into the future.

Those who said the UK could never pursue an independent trade policy outside the EU have been proven wrong. With CPTPP accession, we have FTAs covering over 60% of our trade, goods and services, and the only reason we have not reached the 80% target is the reluctance of the US to do new trade agreements with anybody, not just us. This is a big success area, and getting into the CPTPP is a big part of it. That is why I am delighted to support the Government on the Bill and getting it through rapidly soon.

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Lord Johnson of Lainston Portrait The Minister of State, Department for Business and Trade (Lord Johnson of Lainston) (Con)
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I thank the noble Lord for the segue into my closing address. It is an enormous pleasure to conclude this debate. Before I do so, I draw Members’ attention to my entries in the register of interests. I have investments in companies that operate in CPTPP member countries but, as often in these debates, I do not believe they represent a conflict given the nature of this Bill.

I would like to join the very long line of Peers who complimented the opening and maiden speech made by my noble friend the Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton. At one point I thought it was the popularity of my enthusiasm for free trade that encouraged so many people to sign up to speak in this debate. Only later did I realise that I had delegated the opening—as was heard earlier—to the newest Member of the House, of which I am extremely proud.

I reinforce my own message that to have my noble friend Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton on these Benches, and in this House, is an enormous testament to the importance of this Chamber. I think we all believe strongly that, as an individual, he is absolutely the right person to take forward our foreign policy agenda at such a perilous time in the state of the world, and such an important time for the United Kingdom. I am very proud to have sat next to him during this debate. I hope noble Lords realise that he took the debate extremely seriously, given the other pressures on him relating to the state visit from the President of Korea, dedicating himself to almost the entirety of the debate. I know he would want me to ensure that there was some element of recognition for the seriousness with which we take the important issue of the CPTPP.

I want to praise and pass thanks on to the IAC, which I believe to be one of the most important entities in this House, in ensuring that we reach strong conclusions as we prosecute our post-Brexit vision of Britain through our free trade agreements. The interlocution with the noble and learned Lord, Lord Goldsmith, has been particularly valuable for me over the past few weeks; I welcome him back to his usual place as chairman of the committee. It would be remiss of me not to pay homage to the noble Baroness, Lady Hayter, who has been a powerful representative of independent-minded Peers in ensuring that the Government are held to strong account when it comes to talking about our trade ambitions. I am extremely grateful to her that she remains highly active in this area.

We have heard a number of extremely insightful points raised by many Peers. Listening to this debate, I am heartened by the seriousness with which we take this important subject and the key points that people wish to raise. I will try to respond to as many as possible. It is a very long list. It would have taken me the time that it has taken to discuss the Second Reading in this debate to fly to most of the countries in the CPTPP. But I believe that free trade genuinely gives us longer, happier and wealthier lives so, just through this debate on such an important subject, our lives have been extended and we have become personally richer.

I hope your Lordships know that I will inspect the Hansard account of the debate afterwards and, if I have not covered everyone’s comments, ensure that Members of House are written to specifically. As a number of Members have mentioned, there is a sensible and lengthy journey around this process, which, as I will come on to, will include proper scrutiny of the CPTPP treaty itself.

I will start by talking briefly about some of the benefits of the treaty, which can get lost in the details. I am particularly grateful to my noble friend Lord Vaizey of Didcot, whom many Members will know as a celebrity on the radio but whom I know as an important advocate of free trade. Some of the points that he raised on the specifics—which, as I said, often get lost in the detail—are extremely valuable: business mobility, the ability to trade, the ability to increase our exports and our imports, and, of particular interest to me as Investment Minister, the essential nature of bringing in more investment to the United Kingdom.

This country is not a member of CPTPP but, today alone, we announced in conjunction with the President of South Korea’s visit to this great nation over £20 billion of investment into the UK. This is the value of trade writ large in pounds sterling. Imagine what we can do with countries with which we have an even closer relationship, through a treaty such as this.

One point raised by a number of noble Lords—my noble friends Lord Lansley, Lord Howell and Lord Udny- Lister, and my noble friend Lord Lamont in particular—was the strategic importance of our membership of the CPTPP, which gives us this crucial presence in the Indo-Pacific region strategically, economically, philosophically, culturally and for reasons of alignment through defence. It is not simply a pounds, shillings and pence trade agreement but an essential component of how we as a nation wish to define ourselves when it comes to ensuring our security and wealth creation into the future. I was very glad that so many Members, even Members who rightly had issues to raise on the specificity of the CPTPP, were fundamentally behind the crucial mission of this trading nation that is the United Kingdom. Fundamentally, the positive comments from noble Lords across the House I find extremely heartening.

I want to bring to bear some of the comments that we have had from businesses and representative groups across the country. I will go on to touch on some of the consultations that we engaged in. I am very aware of the comments made by Members across this House on the importance of both promoting consultation as we go into the trade deal and promoting its benefits as we come out. We have consulted wide and extensively and the feedback that we have had has been overwhelmingly positive. Minette Batters said that

“the government continues to maintain its commitment to our food safety standards”—

something that I ask noble Lords to bear in mind as I touch on that subject later on. She added that the UK achieved a

“balanced outcome, particularly with respect to managing market access in our most vulnerable sectors”.

This is very important. I hope that all Members of the House will hear those points from the celebrated president of the NFU.

William Bain, a former Member of the other place and now at the British Chambers of Commerce, said that the agreement was

“good news for UK business”

and offered

“new prospects in a fast-growing region”.

The Federation of Small Businesses—which the noble Earl, Lord Effingham, was right to point out is an essential component of all our trade deals—has said that it was

“very pleased to see the UK officially join the CPTPP trade agreement”.

I turn now to some of the specific points raised. I will go through these relatively quickly, but I invite your Lordships to intervene if I miss a point; I am sure they will. As I said, there will be some instances where I will be obliged to write with further information.

On issues of technical barriers to trade, a number of noble Lords raised questions as well as support. I was particularly grateful to my noble friends Lord Udny-Lister, Lord Frost and Lady Lawlor. This is important as it will enable us to certify conformity assessment bodies in CPTPP countries so that they can perform the relevant checks, which will enable trade to flow more efficiently. I have looked into this personally in some depth and I do not see there being an issue. The noble Lord, Lord Grantchester, raised a point on this. These arrangements are reciprocal, which enables us to have our conformity assessment bodies assessed by CPTPP members. It is common practice.

I would like to stress that CABs established in CPTPP parties do not receive automatic approval in the UK; they have to be assessed. All this really does is to enable us to rightly ensure that CABs can be properly accredited by CABs in the UK. I really do not personally see any issue, other than something that is positive, around that.

We touched on government procurement and I am very comfortable discussing further any specifics. My noble friend Lord Lansley has raised some particularly pertinent points. I hope that I answered those in my letter to him, which I am sure has been lodged in the Library for everyone to read. If not, I would be delighted to circulate it to interested Peers. Ultimately, I agree that bringing in some of the procurement changes when we will introduce them under the Procurement Act, which comes into force next October, so that we can comply with our 17 July obligations under CPTPP, seems a bit unnecessary. It is not unnecessary but extremely necessary for us to comply; clearly, it is not a specific or seismic issue. As I said, unfortunately we are obliged to fulfil those requirements of our obligations.

On intellectual property, it is important that the CPTPP provisions commit parties to a minimum level of IP standards. This is not uncommon in plurilateral trade agreements, which often seek to set a baseline on which parties can build, and the UK’s accession to CPTPP will not limit our ability to seek more ambitious trade agreements with others, including those that are CPTPP members. We intend to be a constructive member and to champion our values and priorities, particularly through the committees and councils set up by the agreement.

A question was raised on generic medicines to the UK market. Just to reassure noble Lords across the House, there will be no delays in the entry of generic medicines to the UK market as a result of the UK joining CPTPP and no increase in the cost that the NHS pays for medicines. We have made no domestic changes to our rules regarding the marketing of generic medicines and are committed to ensuring patient access to medicines and affordable medicine prices for the NHS, while also supporting the UK’s world-class life sciences sector. Our future trade agreements will not change this.

I believe that the noble Lord, Lord Foster, asked a question around grace periods. The UK has signed up to the IP provisions in CPTPP, which is required of all members. We have agreed with the CPTPP parties that the UK will comply with Article 18.38 on grace periods only once the necessary amendments to the European Patent Convention and Strasbourg Patent Convention have been made, in line with Article 18.38 of the CPTPP, and not before. There is a process that we are going through on this point to ensure that all the necessary grace periods relating to IP provisions are aligned.

The noble Lord, Lord Razzall, raised some justifiable points around the principles of copyright, as did the noble Lord, Lord Holmes, who asked whether there are reciprocal rights for our artists in CPTPP countries. There absolutely are; I reassure him that this is the whole point of signing up to this trade agreement. It is a free trade area rather than a country-specific free trade zone, so the reciprocity of the membership is entitled fundamentally to all the members. I am extremely keen to promote that. However, there will be a change in the artists’ rights paid for performances broadcast over media in the UK—not over the internet—and we are applying this to all countries which sign up to these measures in the World Trade Organization. As the noble Lord, Lord Razzall, rightly raised, we are embarking on a consultation which will enable us to ensure that we set the right level of protection for our music industry and for our artists. But fundamentally, the idea of giving our artists half their royalties, as we do here for UK artists and broadcast artists of many other countries, strikes me as a very fair and equitable thing to do and very much part of the spirit of the agreement. However, the consultation will inform us appropriately whether we have that right and I look forward to it being reviewed.

I turn briefly to geographical indicators. The noble Baroness, Lady Hayter, raised this, as did a number of noble Lords. These provisions would allow the Secretary of State to cancel future geographical indicators, not current existing ones, if it is felt that they are confusing or not appropriate. It is important to note that as part of our withdrawal agreement with the EU, we cannot cancel geographical indicators so any relationship between those indicators and other CPTPP members will be direct, rather than through us. I hope the House will be reassured by that.

I turn to the important point of parliamentary scrutiny in the two minutes or so that I have left. I totally agree with the views of noble Lords: we must have a good debate on both the Bill, which contains relatively specific technical provisions, and the essence of the CPTPP, which is such a wonderful thing. I look forward to having these debates with noble Lords and it is not unusual for the CRaG process to run in parallel to the Bill since, as the noble and learned Lord, Lord Goldsmith, will be aware, they are two completely different things in the essence of parliamentary activity.

I have made very clear to the noble Lords, Lord Kerr, Lord Trees, Lord Foster and Lord Grantchester, and to the noble Earl, Lord Sandwich, the importance of a strong, open and wide-ranging general debate on an FTA. That is right and I abide by the Grimstone principle—my formidable predecessor, whose immortality is secured by having a principle named after him; it is my own ambition to also work one into our future trade debates—to ensure that there is, as I say, a general debate. I think we have to go through a process when that is requested and I would be delighted to respond positively to that. I am also extremely available to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Goldsmith, and his committees, and to any noble Lord who wishes to spend time with me or the officials in my department to go through the intricacies of the Bill. We are waiting for the report from the Trade and Agriculture Commission, which I am told will come soon—certainly before the next part of this piece.

I will just cover a few brief final points because, quite rightly, the screen is flashing at me. The noble Lord, Lord McNicol, touched on devolution, the one area that had not been covered. I am pleased to say that we are not trying to run concurrent powers through the Bill but looking for legislative consent Motions. I have written to the Trade Ministers of Wales and Scotland and look forward to having strong interlocution with them, but the feedback that I have had from my officials so far has been extremely positive. I welcome that; there is no doubt that the benefits to Wales and Scotland from this deal are enormous. Scottish whisky alone is worth over £1 billion and the Malaysian opportunities, since we will see import tariffs cut from 80% down to zero, will be significant. That is just one commodity item.

If I may briefly touch on the agricultural side before I come to a conclusion, this is very important and clearly will be the subject of a great deal of the debate in the coming sections of this discussion. It is essential to understand one key point: that there is no derogation of our standards on account of signing up to the CPTPP. We have also introduced a number of clear tariff-rate quota mechanisms to ensure that we are protecting our industries from excessive levels of import. I reassure noble Lords in this instance that actual imports of beef, poultry, eggs and sheep meat from the non-Australia/New Zealand CPTPP countries are extremely low in terms of the pressures on our own agricultural sector. In fact, we have not imported an egg from Mexico, for example, since 2015. It is important to stress that sensational statistic, which I picked up this morning. I was very keen to get my knowledge of it into the debate. I should rephrase that: we have not imported a hard-shell egg in its entirety—we do import egg powder from Mexico, as noble Lords will know.

I turn to my final point before I come to a conclusion. In fact, there are two final points that I would like to cover briefly on China. It is very important in relation to China that we are clear, as are all CPTPP members, that decisions are taken by consensus. Applicant economies must be willing and able to meet the high standards of the agreement, demonstrate a pattern of complying with their existing trade commitments and be able to command consensus. Further to this, and importantly, we will join CPTPP first, so we will be on the inside, judging other applications, not vice versa. An entry into force of the accession protocol will permit us to be a party to the CPTPP, which is why it is so crucial that we ratify this agreement and become a party.

I have one last piece for noble Lords, if I may be indulged by the House, on investor-state dispute settlements. I was extremely grateful to my noble friends Lord Livingston and Lord Lansley for the vocal support for these principles. From my historic experience, running investments in many of these countries, the investor-state dispute mechanisms are very important for allowing British businesses to invest safely and build in these economies. We feel, from the UK side, very protected by the fact that we run and operate a strong degree of rule of law and, as a result of which, we are protected by our own systems. I would not be keen to see us derogate our responsibilities and links to investor-state dispute settlements, because they are important—and, in this instance, they will represent strong protections for our companies operating in CPTPP, resulting in more investment both ways.

To conclude, this Bill represents the continuation of our policy of expanding our horizons to the four corners of the world, being party to the crucial liberalisation of trade which has played such an important part in the economic well-being of our citizens and is an essential component of our strategy to truly immerse ourselves among the faster growing economies of the Asia-Pacific regions. As William Seward said in 1852—and this is my favourite quote—

“the Pacific Ocean, its shores, its islands and the vast regions beyond will become the chief theatre of events in the world’s great hereafter”.

He was correct, and I celebrate this new opportunity afforded us by our fellow nations in the CPTPP to join them in this new stage of development. We should be grateful to them, particularly to countries such as Japan, which led such an important campaign to encourage us to accede—but all the countries of the CPTPP. The Secretary of State for Business and Trade has stated:

“As CPTPP’s first ever new member, and the only European member, we are linking the UK to some of the world’s most dynamic economies, giving British businesses first-mover advantage in some of the fastest-growing markets in the world, and supporting jobs and economic growth right across the country”.

I would also like to thank the former Secretary of State, Dr Liam Fox, who started these negotiations, Elizabeth Truss, the previous Secretary of State, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Kemi Badenoch, the current Secretary of State, and all the civil servants and officials who have been so hard working in this process. This is an issue that transcends party politics: it is intrinsic to our way of life and our prosperity, not just here in the UK, but across the world. I commend the Bill to the House.

Bill read a second time.
Moved by
Lord Johnson of Lainston Portrait Lord Johnson of Lainston
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That the Bill be committed to a Grand Committee, and that it be an instruction to the Grand Committee that they consider the bill in the following order:

Clauses 1 to 3, The Schedule, Clauses 4 to 8, Title.

Motion agreed.