Trade Bill: Give every UK parliament the chance to endorse trade deals
Plaid Cymru has tabled an amendment to the Trade Bill which would ensure the devolved parliament, as well as the UK Parliament, had the opportunity to vote on and endorse any international trade deals.
The party’s International Trade Spokesperson, Ben Lake MP, said the amendment gave the Westminster Government “the chance to show the UK really is a partnership of equals”.
The Trade Bill will be debated on the floor of the House of Commons today (20 July). It will define how the UK operates in relation to international trade negotiations following the Brexit transition period.
A regional Belgian parliament in Wallonia voted against a Canadian trade deal with the EU in 2016. There are also frameworks in place for the involvement of regional parliaments in Germany and state-level interests in the United States.
Currently there is no requirement for the UK Government to get the support of devolved or the Westminster Parliament to sign any trade deal.
Ben Lake MP said:
“Wales will be left with less of a say over our future than a regional parliament in Belgium.
“This amendment gives the Westminster Government the chance to show the UK really is a partnership of equals. By giving each of the UK’s parliaments a say on our future trade relations, Westminster can not only ensure constitutional fairness, but also better trade deals as each country of the UK will be properly represented.
“If the Westminster Government is putting the interests of all four UK nations first in any trade deal, they have nothing to worry about. All of the parliaments will simply vote through any agreement.
“The problem is, I simply don’t trust the warm words of the Westminster government that they won’t drop our food standards or put the NHS up for sale in their desperation for a trade deal with the US.”