Trade has become a big topic in the debate over how we leave the EU. The government claims it is ‘taking back control’ of trade negotiations. But the British government was the biggest cheerleader in Europe for TTIP and CETA, the damaging mega EU trade deals with the US and Canada.
Outside the EU, there are even fewer checks or balances on the British government. MPs have almost no role in negotiating trade deals: they can’t set a mandate for the government to follow, they have no right to information about the negotiations, they can’t amend deals – they can’t even stop them!
Trade can bring big benefits to people, but with almost no democratic processes, who will ensure that these deals are in the interests of people and planet, rather than big business?
Modern trade deals aren’t just about selling coffee or bananas. They are increasingly about our public services, our ability to regulate big business, the way we actually make laws.
They can make the difference between making a living or going bankrupt for small farmers, and life or death for people across the world who depend on affordable medicines.
We need to open up the process and allow scrutiny and democracy to improve the way trade deals work. Please sign this petition to the trade secretary.