Stripped-back Trade Bill a threat to people and planet – says Friends of the Earth

“MPs have declared a climate emergency, and our planet is facing an ecological crisis, so the government should put our environment at the heart of policy making – including new post-Brexit trade deals."
  Published:  14 Oct 2019    |      1 minute read

The absence of a strong Trade Bill in today’s (14 October) Queen’s Speech is a threat to people and planet, says Friends of the Earth.

Today’s Queen’s Speech does include important environmental legislation - including an Environment Bill, Agriculture Bill and Fisheries Bill – but the environmental campaign group is concerned that these could still lead to a weakening of existing protections enjoyed under EU rules.

Furthermore, environmental standards could be undermined further by a stripped-back Trade Bill, which removes protections previously agreed in Parliament to ensure democratic safeguards and proper environmental protection.

Reacting to today’s Queen’s Speech, Dave Timms, Head of Political Affairs at Friends of the Earth said:

“With the UK possibly only days away from a no deal Brexit the absence of a Trade Bill that specifically safeguards environmental, labour, health and consumer protections in new trade deals is of huge concern.

“Although a Trade Bill will be re-introduced, it has been completely watered-down since it was last debated by Parliament.

“MPs have declared a climate emergency, and our planet is facing an ecological crisis, so the government should put our environment at the heart of policy making – including new post-Brexit trade deals.

“New trade deals must also be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny. With climate-denier in chief, Donald Trump, and US corporations waiting eagerly with a list of toxic trade demands - the public should be very concerned that deals could be done without us, or even Parliament, knowing what's going on.”

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