Despite all the talk about “taking back control”, the UK Parliament in fact has very little say over trade deals. This is particularly important now with Brexit, as there will be a whole series of new trade deals, including an almost certainly highly controversial one with the USA. 

At least when the UK was an EU member, UK citizens had elected Members of the European Parliament to scrutinise the terms of proposed trade agreements. Now we don’t even have that, whilst the European Parliament and US Congress get far more say than our own MPs.

Paradoxically it is the unelected House of Lords which is fighting for trade democracy and the Tory majority in the Commons (minus David Davis and 10 other Tory rebels) repeatedly blocking it. 

The Lords added parliamentary scrutiny amendments into the Trade Bill currently going through Parliament, but the Commons has now taken those amendments out again, as well as the Lords’ references to impacts of food on public health. The Lords will be discussing these issues again on February 2. 

  • Please write to any peers you have any connection with to ask them to stand firm. They are often patrons or presidents of various voluntary organisations you might be a member of – so you may have such a connection without knowing it! 
  • If the Lords do stand firm, write to your MP (especially if it’s a Conservative) asking for the Commons to uphold the Lords’ amendments and take back control of trade deals.