RELEASE: Tories Trade Bill Designed to Dodge Scrutiny


The SNP has criticised the Tory government for shutting down Parliamentary scrutiny and railroading ahead with its damaging post-Brexit Trade Bill.

It comes after the UK government voted down measures which sought to give Parliament a role in future trade talks and to take the NHS off the negotiating table. It also blocked cross-party attempts to outlaw trade deals with countries found guilty of committing genocide.

Commenting after the vote in the House of Commons, the SNP’s Shadow International Trade spokesperson Drew Hendry MP said:

“The Tory government has not covered itself in any glory with its shameful approach to its post-Brexit Trade Bill. At each turn it has taken every effort to shut out Parliament and dodge scrutiny.

“Despite all the rhetoric of protecting the NHS, the Tories rejected every attempt to take the NHS off the negotiating table. It has had plenty of opportunities to match its rhetoric with action – instead the Tory government has blocked measures that would have given Parliament a meaningful role.

“Without the safeguard of Parliament – which was the last line of defence – having a role in trade negotiations and the mandate with which the government negotiates, the NHS will always be on the table.

“At a time when so many have had cause to depend on the NHS – from its invaluable doctors, nurses and staff – the Tory government has refused to protect it from trade talks.

“Meanwhile, the government had a second opportunity to back measures to outlaw trade deals with countries guilty of committing genocide. Its attempts to block the amendment – despite opposition from its own backbenches – yet again highlights Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit race to the bottom.

“This Trade Bill is damaging to its very core. The architects of the Leave campaign talked up taking back control from Brussels – yet they have taken another step in taking control from Parliament and the devolved nations.

“Scotland can do so much better. It’s clear that the only way to properly protect our interests and public services is to become an independent country and to regain the benefits of EU membership.”

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