How Scotland can spare itself from chlorinated chicken
12 October 2017
At our fringe meeting at the SNP conference this week, Hannah Bardell MP (who’s the trade spokesperson for the party) said she thinks that Scotland should be developing its own trade policy right now.
Here are five ideas for what that trade policy could look like, and how Scotland can spare itself from Trump’s dreaded chlorinated chickens:
- First off, the focus should be on trading goods, not services. So public services should be completely excluded from trade agreements.
- Trade agreements should contain clauses that prohibit the lowering of standards in areas like environmental protection, food safety, animal welfare, workers rights etc. In fact we’d go farther and say that trade agreements should commit the participating countries to raise standards to the highest common denominator.
- And trade agreements should comply with international commitments, including on human rights, labour and climate change - and if there is a conflict then trade rules should be subordinate.
- There should be no place for so-called ‘corporate courts’ which currently give multi-national companies special rights to sue governments for policy decisions that they claim threaten profits.
- And of course, the whole system must be transparent, open to scrutiny and under democratic control - in contrast to the current system of passing trade deals in which Westminster gives parliamentarians very little say.
Take action: please ask your MP to call for parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals.