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Jonathan Djanogly questions PM about trade deal negotiations

24th October 2016

Following the Prime Minister’s statement on the meeting of the European Council, Jonathan Djanogly questions the PM about the timings of trade deal negotiations with other countries whilst we are still a member of the EU.

Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) (Con)

Technically, it seems that the UK cannot enter into trade deals with third-party countries while we are still a member of the EU. It is also generally acknowledged that we will start to do this at some point before we leave. Is this an issue that my right hon. Friend has looked at? Is there some timetable to work to here? Was it mentioned at the summit?

The Prime Minister

As far as the summit is concerned, my point was that any discussions on trade deals with third countries are not in competition with what the EU is doing. We continue to press for the EU-Japan deal and we continue to press the benefits of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership around the European Union table. My hon. Friend is right that there is a limit to what we can do when it comes to entering into a trade arrangement before we have left the EU, but that does not mean that we cannot scope out negotiations and start to have those discussions, which indeed we are doing with a number of countries.

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