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Australia/UK trade agreement: Liaison Committee writes to Prime Minister seeking extension to period allowed for parliamentary scrutiny

1 July 2022

The Liaison Committee has written to the Prime Minister requesting an extension to the period allowed to Parliament for the scrutiny of the Australia / UK trade agreement under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act.

The request follows the late notice withdrawal of the Secretary of State for International Trade from an evidence session with the International Trade Committee which was scheduled to take place this week and timed to fall during the 21 sitting day scrutiny period.

To enable proper scrutiny by Parliament, the International Trade Committee has requested an extension. It is unlikely to delay the treaty coming into force as it must also be ratified in Australia.

Chair's comments

The Chair of Liaison Committee, Sir Bernard Jenkin MP, said:

"Generally, committees are very understanding of the pressures on Ministers that might lead them to postpone an evidence hearing. This instance appears to be particularly unfortunate, but I am hopeful it can be amicably resolved.”

The Prime Minister is also expected at an evidence session with the Liaison Committee on July 6 from 3pm, when a selection of Committee Chairs will question him on Ukraine, the Government’s response to the cost of living, integrity in politics and the rule of law.

Further information

Image: CCO