OECD Links

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Bim Afolami: What plans the Government have to strengthen links with the OECD after the UK leaves the EU.

Mark Field: Never let it be said that my hon. Friend does not have his finger on the pulse of his constituents. I am sure they talk of little other than the OECD in the Stockbrokers Arms in Harpenden. This country is a founding member of the OECD, and I am pleased to confirm our strong links with it, which will continue to go from strength to strength after Brexit. I visited the OECD in Paris earlier in the month, when I reiterated our firm support for the visionary future programme.

John Bercow: I am glad the Minister does not underestimate the sophistication and cerebral quality of the hon. Gentleman’s constituents—that is very important.

Bim Afolami: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I shall take this back to the Stockbrokers Arms in Harpenden this evening. Will the Minister expand further on what the Government have been doing within the OECD to build up bilateral relationships within that multilateral organisation, to prove that this country is still at the forefront of international institutions?

Mark Field: I should point out that I was in no way saying anything untoward about Harpenden, which is indeed the most middle-class, and probably Tory-voting, town in the whole UK. [Interruption.] Dear, oh dear. As I am sure Opposition Front Benchers will be well aware, the OECD has a crucial role to play in global regulation, enabling trade and investment and driving forward a number of important G20 initiatives. In the coming months, we expect to have a renewed commitment from the OECD and its members to continue to open global markets, particularly through the trade in services, and to explore new issues, including digital trade.

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