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A cross-party group of MPs has announced plans to launch a formal inquiry into the state of illicit trade in the UK.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Illicit Trade, which was established earlier this year, will question whether the Government’s current approach and response is fit for purpose.

Matthew Offord, MP for Hendon and Chair of the Illicit Trade APPG said: “Illicit trade will be affecting businesses, workers and customers in all constituencies, so it’s right that Parliamentarians investigate its scale, activity and how it can be best tackled.

“Brexit will create new challenges for tackling illicit trade and the APPG will be keen to hear from the government and enforcement agencies about how they are planning for our new relationship with the EU.”

Offord said that the establishment of the group has been welcomed by Andrew Jones MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.

“This is a constructive group, that wants to make supportive recommendations to the Government. I’m pleased that the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury has written to me to welcome the establishment of the APPG, and I look forward to working with him and other ministers responsible for tackling illicit trade in the coming months,” he added.

The Illicit Trade APPG is supported by international management, technology and innovation consultancy company PA Consulting.

Dr Steve Carden from PA Consulting commented: “We’re delighted the APPG will be carrying out this inquiry, and PA Consulting will be supporting the Parliamentarians with expert independent advice based on our experiences of working to tackle illicit trade with governments and agencies across the world.”

The inquiry is expected to include four formal evidence sessions, with representatives from major industries and sectors affected by illicit trade. The APPG also confirmed that it will be inviting government and enforcement agencies to provide oral evidence.

Offord confirmed that the group will publish a report later in the year with its findings and recommendations.