London, United Kingdom – As part his ongoing lobbying efforts to ensure EU trade policies do not harm African markets in sensitive industries, Lord David Chidgey, Head of the AWEPA Section in the UK Parliament, put forward a number of Written Questions to Ministers, the answers to which will be published in the UK House of Lords.
His questions focused on the deadline for the ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), a set of free trade area agreements which the EU is concluding with a range of Sub-Sahara African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries. Specifically, Lord Chidgey asked Ministers:
- What assessment has Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) made of the impact of apparently arbitrary deadlines for the ratification of concluded and signed EU trade agreements established by the European Commission under the auspices of EPAs?
- What impact does HMG anticipate that bringing forward the deadlines for ratification of EU EPAs from agreed timescales by the European Commission will have on the normal functioning of parliamentary ratification processes in developing countries?
- Will HMG discuss with the European Commission the effect of the deadlines they have placed on the ratification of trade agreements with developing countries where such deadlines may undermine the normal functioning of parliamentary engagement of these ratification processes?