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MPs to ask urgent Parliamentary question on scrutiny of Australia agreement

19 July 2022

The International Trade Committee has secured the opportunity to ask an Urgent Question in Parliament on the UK’s trade agreement with Australia.

This will give MPs the opportunity to question the Government on the deal from around 12.30pm on Tuesday 19 July in the House of Commons.

If an urgent or important matter arises which an MP believes requires an immediate answer from a government minister, they may apply to ask an urgent question. If granted, the relevant minister must come to the Chamber to explain what the Government is doing on the issue raised. The minister will then usually take questions on the subject from MPs.

The Committee previously called for a substantive debate, which would enable MPs to vote to delay ratification of the agreement, in order to allow additional time for scrutiny.

While the Government swerved the request, the Secretary of State for International Trade told the Committee the Government would attempt to find time for a general debate. However, no time was granted when the business of the House was announced last week. The Parliamentary scrutiny period for the deal ends on Wednesday 20 July, after which the agreement will be ratified without the Commons being able to debate or delay it.

The Committee recently published two reports on the agreement, calling for additional time to scrutinise the deal, and warning the Government against overselling its benefits.

Image: Parlaimentary copyright/Jessica Taylor