** Update 20 March 2019 -- On 6 March the House of Lords voted for an amendment the Trade Bill that that provides for almost everything we’ve been calling for when it comes for proper scrutiny and oversight of trade deals! We’re waiting to see what the Bill returns to the House of Commons, and will pressure MPs to keep the amendment. You can email your MP about it using this easy page our friends at War on Want set up.**
Update 15 February 2019 -- On 21 January the House of Lords voted to stop the progress of the government's Trade Bill until Liam Fox presents a framework for scrutiny of post-Brexit trade deals to Parliament. All our pressure is working, but we've got to keep it up to make sure we get the changes we need!
Update 21 September: We delivered the petition but it's still open while the Bill works its way through the House of Lords. Keep signing so they know that concern over trade deals is still growing!
Update 31 August: If we’re going to stop secret trade deals, we’re going to have to act fast. Parliament’s gearing up for a new term, and the House of Lords will be discussing the trade bill in under two weeks. We're going to deliver this petition on Monday 3 September, so add your name today!
MPs passed the Trade Bill -- without a crucial amendment that would ensure proper scrutiny of trade deals.
But, we didn’t lose by much, a mere 30 votes. And the good news is: we have another shot at it.
The trade bill will be debated in the House of Lords in the first couple of weeks of September, right after the summer break. If we convince peers to change the Trade Bill to ensure parliament gets meaningful scrutiny over trade deals we can stop trade secrecy for good!
Ask members of the House of Lords to change the Trade Bill so that peers and MPs are guaranteed meaningful scrutiny over all trade deals, including a vote to approve them.
Without meaningful scrutiny, we’re likely to sign up to trade deals that threaten labour standards, public health and the environment -- as well as food standards and farm animal welfare. We already know that the US farming lobby wants chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-injected beef to be part of a UK-US trade deal.
If parliament doesn’t get a proper say over trade deals, it could even mean opening up the NHS to US healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. Theresa May has previously refused to rule out the NHS from trade talks with Trump.
In order to safeguard the standards of food on our plates, and protect the NHS we need MPs and Lords to be able to have a proper say over trade deals -- which means:
• Parliament must be guaranteed a full debate and vote to approve trade deals
• There’s transparency in negotiations – including publishing the texts agreed so far by both sides after each round of negotiations
• Parliament’s consent is required on objectives and limits for negotiations (the negotiating mandate)
With the Trade Bill set to land in the House of Lords so soon after the summer holidays we don’t have much time to convince peers to send the Trade Bill back to the government with clauses that ensure parliament will get meaningful scrutiny over trade deals. That means we need lots of people demanding they do, and quickly.
Together we’ve made Liam Fox and the government realise that trade democracy is important to us. They made a last gasp attempt to convince us they were taking it seriously. But their last minute ‘concessions’ didn’t go nearly far enough.
We still need MPs and Lords to be guaranteed a vote on the deal itself.
You’ve already done so much to stop trade deals becoming corporate power grabs, and have put transparency firmly on the agenda. You have signed petitions and emailed Liam Fox in your thousands. The government has taken note of your demands, but still thinks it can get away with ignoring them.
Now we need to keep going, and take that momentum to the House of Lords.