Trading with America?

Do you want to eat meat from animals that have been fed chicken poo? It’s banned in the UK, but in America farm animals are fed ‘chicken litter’ – feed made out of chicken manure and other waste scraped off the floor of chicken cages. [1] If we strike a bad trade deal with the US, meat from these dodgy farms could soon be hitting British plates. [2]

The government is trying to push through a new law that would let them pass trade deals like this in secret. [3] That means that if big corporations or Donald Trump demand we rip up food, safety or environmental regulations, there’d be nothing MPs or the public could do to stop our government agreeing.

The law is going through parliament right now. [4] So if we want to stop our supermarket shelves being flooded with low-quality, chemically-treated food from America, we have to act fast.

If you think the public should get a say on what goes into the food on our plates, please join 220,000 other people and sign the petition now:

SIGN THE PETITION

Getting trade deals right might sound dull, like something that won’t affect us day to day. But it couldn’t be more important. Good trade deals can boost the economy, create jobs, and improve opportunities for all of us. [5] But when trade deals are done badly, it can be a disaster. It could mean lost jobs, lower standards for food, and environmental protections being thrown out the window. [6]

The government is coming under pressure from all sides to get this trade law right. Last week a group of parliamentary experts called the Hansard Society slammed the proposals. They’re warning it could mean MPs and the public having much less of a say over vital trade deals. [7]

Together we’ve made the government back down on things like this before. When the government wanted to use so-called ‘Henry VIII’ powers to pass new laws after Brexit in secret, hundreds of thousands of us spoke out and forced the government to change its mind. [8] Now MPs will be given a vote on all our laws after Brexit. Let’s make sure the people we choose as our voices in parliament have a say on our future trade deals too.

 

Notes:
[1] University of Missouri: Feeding Poultry Litter to Beef Cattle:
https://extension2.missouri.edu/g2077
[2] The Guardian: Bacon with banned additive among risks of US-UK trade deal:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/16/bacon-laced-banned-additive-us-trade-deal-food-risk-list
[3] The Hansard Society: Trade Bill highlights Parliament’s weak international treaty role:
https://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/blog/trade-bill-highlights-parliaments-weak-international-treaty-role
Independent: Instead of bringing back control to Parliament from the EU, the Government is plotting another power grab:
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-latest-news-eu-trade-bill-deal-liam-fox-sovereign-parliament-power-government-a8147431.html
Global Justice Now: Reaction to the Trade Bill second reading vote in parliament:
http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/news/2018/jan/9/reaction-trade-bill-second-reading-vote-parliament
[4] Parliament: Trade Bill 2017-2019:
https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2017-19/trade.html
[5] 38 Degrees members have been drawing up a people-powered vision for what trade should look like after Brexit. Together we’re building a big, bold, positive vision that millions of us can support. Over 8 million votes have been cast on dozens of different ideas – and our plan is coming together. You can see the results so far below:
38 Degrees: DIY Brexit:
http://diybrexit.38degrees.org.uk/
[6] One of the new trade deals the government is thinking of joining is the Trans Pacific-Partnership (TPP):
BBC News: TPP: Could UK really join Pacific trade group?:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42549541
Financial Times: UK looks to join Pacific trade group after Brexit (paywall):
https://www.ft.com/content/73943036-efa9-11e7-b220-857e26d1aca4
Below are some examples of what has been revealed about the TPP deal for countries like Australia:
The Guardian: TPP’s clauses that let Australia be sued are weapons of legal destruction, says lawyer:
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/10/tpps-clauses-that-let-australia-be-sued-are-weapons-of-legal-destruction-says-lawyer
Médecins Sans Frontières: Statement by MSF on the Official Release of the Full Text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement:
https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/statement-msf-official-release-full-text-trans-pacific-partnership-trade-agreement
Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network: The TPP: devils in the detail:
https://bit.ly/TPP-Devils-in-the-detail
[7] The Hansard Society: Trade Bill highlights Parliament’s weak international treaty role:
https://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/blog/trade-bill-highlights-parliaments-weak-international-treaty-role
[8] BBC: Brexit bill: Government loses key vote after Tory rebellion:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42346192
The Independent: Government defeated in key Brexit vote:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-live-updates-theresa-may-eu-withdrawal-bill-tory-rebels-pmqs-latest-news-jeremy-corbyn-votes-a8106971.html
38 Degrees Petition: Give the public and parliament more say on new laws:
https://link.38degrees.org.uk/delegated_powers