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Farron accused of seeking to damage UK in its international trade negotiations

Tim Farron MP

[W]estmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has been accused of supporting an amendment which would have damaged Britain’s ability to negotiate beneficial international trade deals in the future.

The amendment, proposed by Labour member Ian Murray MP and supported by the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, would have prevented Britain from imposing trade tariffs on goods imported by European Union countries. These would apply even if Government negotiations over the Withdrawal of the UK from the European Union broke down and the EU decided to impose punitive tariffs.

Moreover, the amendment would also have prevented the UK from using tariffs as part of their trade negotiations with other countries around the world.

Shadow Secretary of State for international Trade, Barry Gardiner MP, took to Twitter to criticise the motion. He pointed out that “WTO’s ‘most favoured nation’ rule says unless you have a specific trade agreement you must give all countries the same tariff and quote deal as you give the most favoured. So if you can’t give tariffs to EU, you can’t give to anyone else either!”

James Airey

James Airey, Conservative parliamentary candidate in the 2017 General Election, said: “Fortunately, this hugely damaging and irresponsible amendment was soundly defeated by MPs, by 311 votes to 76.”

“Securing this amendment would have hugely damaged the future of the UK economy and prevented our ability to seize the opportunities presented by Brexit, all for narrow petty politics.”

“It is quite clear that our local MP has learned nothing from his experience during this year’s General Election when his majority was reduced by over 8000 votes. I, for one, greatly look forward to re-running that particular vote. Only a Conservative MP here in Westmorland and Lonsdale can deliver what local people want and this country needs to support a vibrant and successful future.”

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