The Fanatical Mr Fox – 10 reasons the trade secretary is a threat to our food, the environment and democracy
19 February 2018
Can we trust our International Trade Secretary to represent public interest? No, and here are ten reasons why not...
1. A danger to democracy
As it stands, MPs cannot access negotiation documents, draft agreements or reject trade deals. Liam Fox’s new Trade Bill means MPs and the public will have even less power to scrutinise trade deals than they have now.
2. A 'TTIP on steroids'
Liam Fox, ‘Donald Trump’s man in cabinet’, has already met with the US president’s negotiators. A trade deal with Trump is one of the government’s top priorities and it’s likely to look like a turbo-charged TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the toxic deal between the US and EU we fought and beat).
3. A threat to the NHS
Liam Fox has formerly stated that “ringfenced funding” for the “wasteful” NHS should end. With Fox in charge, a new US-UK trade deal is likely to open up our public services, like the NHS, to multinational companies who are already champing at the bit.
4. Has prioritised corporate lobbyists in the past...
Liam Fox was forced to resign as Defence Secretary in 2011 because he had invited his old friend Adam Werrity, a lobbyist, to international trips and to private Ministry of Defence meetings even though Werrity had no official role in government and no security clearance.
5. ... and continues to do so
Department for International Trade ministers overwhelmingly prioritise meeting with lobbyists from big business over all other interests. In fact, our research has revealed that nine out of ten meetings trade ministers have had are with businesses.
6. A disaster for the environment
Liam Fox moves in circles of climate change deniers. He recently met with the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation – both influential opponents of environmental protections that are backed by big corporations.
7. Supports big pharmaceuticals
Trade deals backed by Liam Fox with countries such as India could allow UK pharmaceutical companies to expand their monopoly rights over medicines used by millions in the global south.
8. Supports human rights abusers
Desperate to secure deals after Brexit, Liam Fox has already met with a string of human rights violating regimes. On his list of potential UK trade partners are repressive regimes like the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
9. A risk to data protection
So-called ‘e-commerce’ rules will decide what tech giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook can do with your private data. Fox has already said these rules are a priority for him, but if his Trade Bill passes, MPs will have no say over such major pieces of public policy.
10. Bad for our food
Fox has insisted there are “no health reasons” why UK consumers should not enjoy chlorinewashed meat. A US-UK trade deal would likely insist on making chlorine chicken and hormonetreated beef part of the British menu.
Trade democracy now
We've already made huge progress in making sure the new trade bill is amended before it's passed into law. Liam Fox won't give up easily, but neither will we.
In the coming weeks, MPs will get a new chance to vote for trade democracy in parliament. We need to make sure our elected MPs stand up for people’s livelihoods by amending the Trade Bill. Our food safety standards, our NHS and our democracy are all under threat.
If you've supported our campaign for trade democracy – thank you! If you haven't yet, there’s still time to ramp up the campaign by donating today: