Trade Deals and Human Rights with Emily Thornberry MP

Never in recent history have trade and human rights abuses been so clearly linked. On February 1st, 2021, the Labour Campaign for Human Rights held a panel discussion on how the UK could put human rights at the heart of its foreign and trade policy.

♦️ Matthew Turner, Labour Campaign for Human Rights (Chair)
♦️ Emily Thornberry, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade
♦️ Rahima Mahmut, UK Project Director, World Uyghur Congress (WUC)
♦️ David Lawrence, Senior Political Adviser, Trade Justice Movement
♦️ Isabelle Younane, Senior Advocacy Manager, ActionAid UK

Key Topics:
♦️ The threat to workers’ rights of the UK-EU trade deal and implications for the ECHR;
♦️ The Uyghur genocide and the ‘Genocide Amendment’ to the Trade Bill;
♦️ Human rights conditionality in UK trade deals with non-EU countries, including parliamentary scrutiny of new trade agreements; and
♦️ Corporate supply chains & human rights.

Trade deals are headline news at the moment. The UK and the EU have agreed a last-minute trade agreement to prevent a catastrophic no-deal Brexit. Almost simultaneously, the EU (led by Germany) has finalised a long-delayed investment treaty with China, much to the frustration of the incoming Biden administration in the US. At the same time, the evidence that the Chinese State is committing a genocide against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang has become insurmountable - as the UK Trade Bill returns to the House of Commons this month, MPs will vote on a ‘Genocide Amendment’ from the Lords which aims to prevent trade deals with genocidal states (with such a determination to be made by the UK High Court, not the UN). And, following the conclusion of a trade deal with Japan at the end of last year, the UK will be seeking many new trade agreements with non-EU countries in 2021.