No more secret trade deals: Email your MP!
In early December, a trade democracy amendment to the Trade Bill was approved by the House of Lords – but before it is made into law, our MPs have to agree to it too. It will be voted on in the Commons in January 2021. Will you ask your MP to protect trade democracy by supporting the amendment?
If, in January, our MPs remove the trade democracy amendment that hundreds of thousands of people across the country have campaigned for, the Trade Bill will fail to protect our public services and mean our trade deals are done in secret.
MPs must get an automatic vote and the power to make amendments on all trade deals, and there must be debates on objectives, a role for devolved administrations, impact assessments and transparency throughout.
Don’t let your MP vote to give themself less power over decisions that impact our daily lives, and our future.
Trade deals can affect everything from food standards to climate action to jobs. As the government sets out the UK’s new trade relationships, we need democratic control over these far-reaching deals.
Will you write to your MP to defend trade democracy?
An amendment to the Trade Bill was introduced by Lord Purvis in the House of Lords and supported by 308 peers. Lord Purvis’ amendment guarantees the following:
- Before negotiations: a debate and vote for MPs on the government’s negotiating objectives
- During negotiations: additional scrutiny through a dedicated parliamentary committee
- After negotiations: a vote in both Houses on a final deal, prior to ratification
- Mandatory sustainability impact assessments on the impact of the new trade deals on the environment, public health, human rights and global development
- Consultation with devolved authorities.
These five provisions would be a considerable improvement on the level of parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals in the UK, whose processes lag behind the USA, EU and other countries.
The government is on the back foot. Trade Minister Liz Truss attempted to quell a rebellion over parliamentary scrutiny by issuing a Written Ministerial Statement about parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals, but this didn’t introduce anything new – we still are not guaranteed a debate or vote on new trade agreements in Parliament.