Recently, the EU signed the biggest free trade deal in history between Japan and itself. For the last few remaining days we remain members of the EU we will benefit from it. However, if we crash out we lose access to the free trade agreement.
Earlier on in the questioning, my colleagues asked if the Trade Secretary expects us to have exactly the same benefits of this trade deal when we leave the EU, he answered no but stated that we would join the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership which he said was a much better deal.
I asked the Minister how long he thought it would take for us to try and join this trade group. The answer? Eight long years. This is eight years of lost economic growth, eight year of loss for potential new jobs and eight years of standing on the sidelines whilst other nations rush ahead of us.
I pressed the UK Government for a statement on Japanese whaling and what they are doing to raise our condemnation at the restarting of such a horrific activity.
The Prime Minister is meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and I wanted assurances from the Leader of the House of Commons that the UK Government will tell the Japanese delegation that we want all whaling to stop.
All whaling in the world is overseen by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). It is an inter-governmental organisation whose purpose is the conservation of whales and the management of whaling. The legal framework of the IWC is the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. This Convention was established in 1946, making it one of the first pieces of international environmental legislation.
Some nations have continued to undertake whaling despite pleas from the international community to stop. This includes Japan who recently resumed whaling for ‘scientific research’.
The act of whaling should be consigned to the history books. It is clearly wrong to hunt down these magnificent, and endangered, animals. This week our Prime Minister has the perfect opportunity to raise our nations deep concerns that Japan has resumed whaling when she meets the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.
I asked for the UK Government to give time in the Commons so that MPs could be updated on what action they are doing to bring an end to this ecologically harmful act. We must do all we can to ensure that we leave the planet in a better state for the next generation and this can only be done through protection of species and their habitats.
The International Whaling Commission is one of the oldest environmental protection agencies in the world and it is our duty to ensure that they are listened to when they say whaling should end.
On Thursday, I asked the Secretary of State for International Trade – the brand new Department created by the Prime Minister following the EU referendum result – what he made of the recent comments by the Japanese government on the UKs vote to leave the EU. Read more “International Trade Questions: Japan”