Why Trade Justice?

Does the UK and Scotland’s trade with other countries

do good?

Is it ‘fair’ trade? Does it support human rights, uphold climate change agreements, encourage high environmental and social standards? Are our own and other countries’ public services protected? Are corporations held to account?

And are UK trade deal negotiations democratic? After Brexit, will new trade deals be democratically debated and scrutinised? Will the public have a say in what’s included? Will politicians and the public be able to reject a deal they don’t like?

At the moment, the answer to too many of these questions, is NO.

But it should, and could, be YES.

zoomed in group photo with signatures

A UK trade bill at Westminster – opportunities for an ethical trade policy

After the vote for Brexit, the Trade Justice Scotland coalition is concerned about new trade deals the UK government might negotiate with the US and other countries. We fear these deals could be worse than TTIP or CETA. Already talks with the US on a future trade deal are being held in secret.

But we also know that this time of change offers some opportunities. We could rewrite the rules on trade: to make our trade with other countries ethical and fair; to protect public services in our own and other countries; to uphold international agreements on climate change, human rights and worker’s rights; to ensure that corporations are held to account. We could also make sure that future trade negotiations with other trading partners across the world are transparent and are thoroughly scrutinised by MPs.

A trade bill has recently been published by the UK government. It sets out a legal framework for trade after Brexit. At the moment this trade bill does not suggest future deals will be properly debated and scrutinised at Westminster or Holyrood. So we need it to be amended to ensure that democracy and transparency are at the heart of this new legal framework and that Scotland (along with all the devolved nations) has a voice too.

The Scottish parliament can choose to withhold consent on the trade bill. Unless the bill is amended to allow Scotland to have its say, we believe that Holyrood should withhold its consent.

Sign our open letter here – call on the Scottish parliament to withhold consent until the bill is reformed.

Trade That Does Good

Photo: Members of the Trade Justice Scotland coalition meeting to discuss what a just trade policy might look like.

As a coalition we have developed a set of principles for an ethical trade policy

We are calling on Scottish politicians to sign up to them.

Read the Just Trade Principles

Read the Just Principles for Trade policy briefing (use as a basis to write to your local MP)

Sign the Global Justice Now petition for trade democracy

Please contact MPs and MSPs to ask them to sign up to our principles!

Find out more about UK post-Brexit trade deals:

Giving Away Control? How Brexit will make UK trade deals less democratic and what you can do about it

Trading with Trump: what we can expect from a UK-US trade deal