Sir Robert's speech on trade at the Conservative party conference

Regulations, tariffs and trade barriers are as hostile to British interests as they are to those of the developing world. That is why the collapse of the WTO talks in Cancun is such a tragedy for all concerned.

As the Party's Spokesman in the EP I have been pressing Commissioner Lamy to take the lead on behalf of the EU in getting these negotiations back on track.

We have a Conservative 3 point plan:-
  1. In the words of Commissioner Lamy the processes of WTO are mediaeval so it must be revamped and re-organised as a matter of urgency.
  2. There must be a radical reform of agricultural subsidies - the CAP springs to mind immediately so that the EU can then press the US with a clear conscience.
  3. The short-term shelving of the so-called Singapore issues - which threaten the developing countries ability to compete.
    1. Foreign investment
    2. Standards for anti-monopoly laws
    3. Greater transparency of Government purchasing policies
    4. Simplification of trade paperwork
Conservative MEPs are fighting for British Trade but we care also about the needs of the third world.

The breakdown of the WTO talks leaves the daunting alternative of bilateral agreements, which means the world's poor will continue to suffer in the long term.

The richer nations have to lead by example and the developing countries must, in turn, be open and honest because let us not forget the high levels of corruption that exist in various regimes.

The EU must take the initiative in re-starting the WTO negotiations so that a Fair Deal for Everyone is a world-wide objective as well as a British one.
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