As the UK leaves the EU, the powers to oversee and ratify trade deals will return to the UK. But the government's current Trade Bill transfers these powers directly into the hands of trade secretary Liam Fox, giving no effective role to the UK parliament over scrutiny and approval. As it stands, it's a power grab. It's like handing Liam Fox a blank cheque to negotiate over our food standards, our public services like the NHS, and corporate courts – with MPs reduced practically to spectators.
This is a massive democratic deficit. But we have a chance to fight for trade democracy as we call on parliamentarians to vote through amendments that ensure scrutiny and approval powers for parliament.
Recently we won an important victory as the House of Lords passed an amendment to the Trade Bill that includes our proposals for a meaningful vote over future trade deals. This was a big step but the fight is not over. We now need to ensure this amendment stays in the Bill when it returns to the House of Commons in the coming days.
Take action: ask your MP to support the amendment for trade democracy