Update:

Cross-party Lords will debate  the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Amendment 27 tomorrow which would give Parliament scrutiny of the UK-EU Future Relationship.   Thanks to the Trade Justice Movement, Global Justice now and all the NGOs and MPs who are  supporting this amendment. Athough it will not be voted on in committee stages, it is likely that it will be have  a vote at Report Stage.
Please  share this briefing on the amendment with any Lords you work with – it would be great to have as many peers as possible speaking in favour of trade democracy. 

PRESS RELEASE

WEDNESDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2019

  • Civil society organisations set out ‘red lines’ for post-Brexit trade agreement

  • The 10 red lines set clear demands covering health, the environment, workers’ rights, public services, sustainable development and democratic scrutiny.

  • The lines are signed by civil society organisations representing hundreds of thousands of campaigners

Civil society organisations have united to set out clear red lines on a trade agreement between the UK and the United States. A deal with the US has been presented as an option for the UK’s future trade policy, and the UK begun informal negotiations with President Donald Trump.[1]

Campaigners have long warned of the impact a US trade deal could have on public services including the NHS, health, food standards, the environment and other rights.[2]

In a joint statement, civil society organisations are demanding that a US trade deal must not undermine the UK’s climate commitments, lower protections for workers and our environment, or lead to lower food standards. They also call for the NHS to be excluded, and for Parliament to have a meaningful vote on a US deal.

Ruth Bergan of the Trade Justice Movement said “A US trade deal would put the NHS and our food standards at risk. The UK must not rush into high risk deals that could prevent us from addressing climate change or ensuring everyone has access to the healthcare they need. We need to stop seeing a US deal as a Brexit prize and take seriously the potential threats.”

The red lines are:

 

A US trade deal must not:

 

1. Block positive action on the environment or undermine existing standards

2. Undermine food standards

3. Threaten public health or the NHS

4. Threaten public services

5. Undermine labour and social rights

6. Be passed without democratic scrutiny and consent

7. Limit online regulation and undermine digital rights

8. Undermine sustainable development and international commitments

9. Include harmful corporate courts[4]

10. Limit public procurement strategy

 

The red lines are supported by 22 organisations:

 

Trade Justice Movement

ActionAid

Baby Milk Action

Cafod

CHEM Trust

Christians on the Left

The Equality Trust

Friends of the Earth

Global Justice Now

Health Equalities Group

Just Treatment

Keep Our NHS Public

New Economics Foundation

Open Rights Group

PAN UK

STOPAIDS

SumOfUs

Sustain

Traidcraft Exchange

Unlock Democracy

War On Want

We Own It

 

Notes for editor:

 

The full red lines, with more detailed policy asks, are available here.

 

[1] See, for example, Trump’s comments at the recent G7 summit: The Independent, ‘G7 summit: Trump expects to strike ‘very big trade deal’ with UK after it is freed from ‘anchor’ of EU’, 25 August 2019

[2] See the Trade Justice Movement, ‘UK-US Trade Deal’, online resource

[3] See the Trade Justice Movement, ‘Securing Democracy in UK Trade Policy’, 2019

[4] See the Trade Justice Movement, ‘ISDS – Briefing for Parliamentarians’, 2019

 

For more information and comment please contact:

 

David Lawrence, Senior Political Adviser, Trade Justice Movement

david@tjm.org.uk | 07769665187

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