Debates between Lord Frost and Baroness Smith of Basildon

There have been 3 exchanges between Lord Frost and Baroness Smith of Basildon

1 Thu 25th March 2021 Post Brexit: Economic and Political Opportunities
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (289 words)
2 Thu 18th March 2021 UK-EU Trade
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (339 words)
3 Wed 10th March 2021 Northern Ireland Protocol: Grace Period
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (338 words)

Post Brexit: Economic and Political Opportunities

Debate between Lord Frost and Baroness Smith of Basildon
Thursday 25th March 2021

(2 weeks, 4 days ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord Frost Portrait Lord Frost (Con)
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My Lords, we obviously regret the situation that has arisen with the difficulties in exporting shellfish to the European Union after 1 January. Clearly, nothing changed in the safety of British shellfish or British waters at midnight on 31 December. We are continuing to work with the Commission and member states to see whether we can resolve this situation.

Baroness Smith of Basildon Portrait Baroness Smith of Basildon (Lab)
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My Lords, like the noble Lord, Lord Hamilton, I want to return to an issue we touched on last week when the Minister appeared to dismiss concerns about the January fall in exports, saying:

“A unique combination of facts has made it inevitable”.—[Official Report, 18/3/21; col. 445.]

The Food and Drink Federation does not share his complacency, having seen its members’ exports to the EU collapse by 75% in the past year but by only 11% to the rest of the world. It is clear that the Brexit negotiations, which the Minister was part of, had a hugely significant impact, particularly on small businesses, so I have two questions for him. First, if the fall really was inevitable, why did he not tell businesses beforehand? Secondly, will he urgently convene a meeting, not- withstanding his earlier comments, of the partnership council and the special trade committees to try to save British exports?

Lord Frost Portrait Lord Frost (Con)
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My Lords, the economic situation is clearly hugely influenced by many factors including stock building, the implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the effects of the pandemic, which has dramatically affected markets in Europe, to which many of our smaller companies and food companies export. We are working very closely with all those companies to deal with the difficulties they face, and we will continue to do so in support of our great food and drink industry.

UK-EU Trade

Debate between Lord Frost and Baroness Smith of Basildon
Thursday 18th March 2021

(3 weeks, 4 days ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord Frost Portrait Lord Frost (Con)
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My Lords, the Government of course recognise the importance of the UK’s cultural industries. We made proposals during the negotiations last year that would have allowed musicians to travel and perform in the UK and the EU more easily without work permits. They were rejected by the European Union. Now that negotiations are over, we are working with the sector to help it adjust to this new relationship. We have a working group with industry representatives which is feeding into our process. We are of course discussing a range of issues with Maroš Šefčovič as regards the implementation of the TCA.

Baroness Smith of Basildon Portrait Baroness Smith of Basildon (Lab)
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My Lords, I thank the Minister for agreeing to meet the noble Lord, Lord Adonis, on the issues he raised, but in response to my noble friend Lord McNicol, he seemed reluctant to admit that there was a problem and he certainly did not answer the part of the question about what the solutions were, so I shall try again. Your Lordships’ House has been fully engaged in preparing the UK for its new relationship with the EU. There has been an unprecedented number of documents, Bills and statutory instruments that we have all waded our way through to get to the detail, but all behind ensuring support for the Government’s border plans. Yet here we are, less than three months in, and that model is creaking. The Minister is now tearing up plan A in order to push back implementation dates. Can he tell us what he thinks has gone wrong?

Lord Frost Portrait Lord Frost (Con)
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My Lords, as I say, it is too early to draw conclusions from any figures in January; there are too many other factors influencing the economic situation. We have always made clear and are assiduously implementing our plans to get businesses the support they need to manage the changes to our trading relationship with the EU. There is a new Brexit support fund and a Brexit business taskforce. We are supporting the fisheries industries and many others through the initial difficulties of the change in relationship.

Northern Ireland Protocol: Grace Period

Debate between Lord Frost and Baroness Smith of Basildon
Wednesday 10th March 2021

(1 month ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord Frost Portrait Lord Frost (Con)
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I thank the noble Earl for his question, and I look forward to appearing before his committee again in the near future. We have been working through the joint committee mechanisms since the beginning of the year and before. The measures taken last week were operational, technical and temporary. We informed the Commission of those through the appropriate channels and at the appropriate level before the decision was made public.

Baroness Smith of Basildon Portrait Baroness Smith of Basildon (Lab)
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My Lords, I think we all welcome that the noble Lord, Lord Frost, is now able to answer Questions from the Dispatch Box and we look forward to an ongoing dialogue with him about his Cabinet responsibilities. His role in the negotiations has been credited with getting the agreement and the Northern Ireland protocol over the line. He would have been aware then of all the implications. Given that he supported the creation of, and now co-chairs, the Joint Committees he has referred to, which are designed to resolve such disputes, would not the most mature and pragmatic way to deal with this issue be to continue with that process? Does he understand that the unilateral action he is championing is a double threat? It jeopardises the European Parliament’s ratification of his own agreement and damages our international reputation if we cannot be trusted to keep our word.

Lord Frost Portrait Lord Frost (Con)
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I thank the Baroness and I look forward to answering many more Questions from this Dispatch Box about our approach to the relationship with the European Union. We would like to see a constructive relationship with the European Union in future. The difficulty we are faced with this year is that the EU’s decision to invoke Article 16 in Northern Ireland has created a new and very difficult situation that has undermined cross-community confidence and we have been trying to deal with that. We would like to do so in a constructive and consensual way but we also have to have to regard to the situation and the need to maintain confidence and consent across both communities in Northern Ireland.