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'Brexit and trade in Wales' inquiry resumed by MPs

23 July 2020

The Welsh Affairs Committee resumes its inquiry into the implications of UK-EU trade negotiations for Wales.

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The Committee welcomes submissions which address the terms of reference as outlined below. The deadline for submissions is 30 October 2020.

Brexit and Trade Inquiry

The inquiry, originally launched at the beginning of March, was put on hold as the coronavirus pandemic struck the UK and the Committee made way for a probe of the impact of the crisis on the Welsh economy. With the Committee's work on its Covid-19 inquiry due to be concluded in the autumn, Chair Stephen Crabb, said ‘the timing is right to return to the issue of what Brexit will mean for the future of Welsh trade'.

The Brexit and Trade Inquiry will examine the implications of a deal along the lines of that proposed by the UK Government or no-deal on Welsh businesses and Wales-EU trade flows. With the Northern Ireland Protocol set to mark Northern Ireland out has having a unique position within UK-EU trade relations, the Committee will assess its impact on intra-UK trade and what additional capacity will be required at Welsh Ports. The inquiry will also scan for opportunities and priorities for Wales at trade negotiations with third parties, such as the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Chair's comments

The Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP said:

“UK trade with the EU and the rest of the world is in the spotlight like never before as Britain seeks to negotiate new post-Brexit trade agreements. With negotiations on a free trade agreement with the EU reaching a critical phase, and trade talks also now starting with the USA, Japan and other major economies, this is an important moment for us to examine how Wales will be affected by future trade deals.

Given the importance of sectors like manufacturing and agriculture to the Welsh economy, the terms of these deals could mean new opportunities to boost Welsh exports overseas or new products entering the UK to compete against Welsh companies.  Our inquiry will address these issues, looking at the implications of the Government's proposals and of a no-deal Brexit scenario for Wales. We want to help provide clarity for Welsh businesses and to help shape the direction of negotiations for a better deal for Wales.”

Terms of reference

The Committee seeks written evidence submissions addressing the following:

  • What are Wales's priorities for future trade relations with the EU, and what are the implications of any future UK-EU trade and customs arrangements for Wales?
  • Following the UK's withdrawal from the EU, what opportunities will there be for Wales in trade negotiations with non-EU countries, and how should the most important areas to the Welsh economy be represented in different trade models?
  • How will the revised Northern Ireland Protocol affect the access of goods to and from Wales as part of the UK internal market, including customs checks, processes and declarations?
  • What additional capacity is required at Wales' ports to manage checks and customs arrangements for GB-NI trade after the implementation period?
  • What benefits could freeports bring to Wales as part of the UK's post-Brexit trade strategy?
  • How will any future trading models affect agricultural trade in Wales, including the level of trade, tariffs and export of Welsh food and drink?
  • What role, if any, should the devolved administrations play in UK trade policy and how can key Welsh interests be best reflected in the UK's trade priorities and future negotiating strategies?

Further information

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