Tories rip up proposed protections in the trade bill

MPs have rejected key amendments to the Trade Bill made by the House of Lords that campaigners say would offer important protection to the NHS. 

At the same time MPs also ditched amendments that: guaranteed MPs a vote on trade deals; protected food, animal welfare, and environmental standards; and prevented trade deals with countries engaged in acts of genocide or serious human rights violations.

Jean Blaylock, trade campaigner at Global Justice Now said:

“Yet again MPs have rejected a series of amendments which would have offered some protection from this government’s toxic trade agenda. Most shocking of all, they have refused to give themselves the power to meaningfully scrutinise or stop trade deals, writing Boris Johnson a blank cheque to negotiate away our rights and protections in trade talks with countries like the USA.”

In December the House of Lords had passed a clause that prevented any agreement that impeded the UK’s ability to provide  “a comprehensive publicly funded health service free at the point of delivery.” The amendment also suggested controls on drug pricing and the sale of patient data.

Full story in The Lowdown, 22 January 2021

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