Demand democratic trade deals to protect health

When we leave the EU, the UK government will be able to negotiate new trade deals with countries around the world. As things stand, there is no meaningful way for civil society and parliament to take part in or monitor this process.

From setting the negotiating mandate to monitoring negotiations along the way, to accepting the end result – all of this can currently be done without any input from civil society, MPs or the devolved administrations.

If we want trade deals negotiated after Brexit to protect and promote public health, then this needs to change. That’s why we are calling on MPs to demand greater democracy and transparency in trade deals.

From setting the negotiating mandate to monitoring negotiations along the way, to accepting the end result – all of this can currently be done without any input from civil society, MPs or the devolved administrations. The government has proved it can’t be trusted with our trade deals, so we need to demand transparency and democracy now.

What we want

If we want to protect public health we need to know what is on the table and what is being negotiated in our name. We need MPs to be able to take part in the process and interrogate it, to ensure that our public health is protected.

That’s why together with the Trade Justice Movement we are making five demands for transparency and democracy in UK trade deals:

  1. The right of parliament to set a thorough mandate to govern each trade negotiation, with a remit of the devolved administrations
  2. The right of citizens to be consulted as part of setting that mandate
  3. Full transparency in negotiations
  4. The right of parliament to amend and to reject trade deals, with full debates guaranteed and a remit for the devolved administrations
  5. The right of parliament to review trade deals and withdraw from them if they are damaging.

If these conditions are met then we have a much better chance of protecting public health and public services.

That’s why we’re asking you to write to your MP to ask them to support EDM 128 and demonstrate the Department for International Trade that they want a more democratic and accountable process for negotiating trade deals.

 

We are working with the Trade Justice Movement to demand greater transparency and democracy in trade deals.

 


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