The Trade Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 7 November 2017 and is currently progressing through the House of Lords. The Trade Bill provides powers for UK ministers and devolved ministers to make changes to domestic law that may be required to implement:
- the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)
- any agreements the UK Government reaches with third party countries who have already signed a trade deal with the EU.
The powers in the Trade Bill relating to the GPA and transitioning existing trade agreements will be held concurrently by the devolved administrations and the UK government, ensuring that where it makes practical sense for regulations to be made once for the whole UK, it is possible for this to happen.
The UK government will not normally use these powers to amend legislation in devolved areas without the consent of the relevant devolved administrations, and not without first consulting them.
The Trade Bill will not take any powers away from the devolved administrations. Every decision that a devolved administration could make before exit day, they can make afterwards.