Harriet Harman

Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham. Mother of the House of Commons

Parliamentary Scrutiny of Trade Deals Post-Brexit

Many constituents have contacted me on the important issue of Parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals. I share your concerns and have signed EDM 128.

It is important that future trade deals do not lead to a race to the bottom and are used instead to maintain and build on existing standards. This is why it is so important that Parliament is given proper time to scrutinise new deals.

The Trade Bill and Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill made it clear that the Government wants our trade policy to be decided behind closed doors. They want to use Brexit as an excuse for a power grab from Parliament, using Henry VIII powers to avoid scrutiny or debate.

Labour is committed to transparency and we are seeking to amend future trade legislation to ensure MPs can challenge future trade proposals that would negatively affect their constituencies or the economy. I was disappointed that last week the Government voted against Labour’s reasoned amendments to both the Trade Bill and Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill highlighting these very concerns.

I will continue to work with my Labour colleagues to ensure the power of Parliament and regulatory protections are not undermined as we leave the European Union and enter into new trade agreements. 

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