Today, Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords will vote for Parliament, not Liam Fox, to decide who the UK trades freely with and on what terms.
Peers will vote on cross-party amendments to the Trade Bill, one of which would require Parliament to approve the Government’s negotiating mandate for free trade agreements as well as the final text.
Speaking ahead of the vote, Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords, Dick Newby, said:
“Brexit could leave Parliament with almost no influence over future trade deals.
"At the moment, all Parliament can do is kick the can down the road 21 days at a time. This may be the preferred tactic of the Prime Minister, but the Liberal Democrats are clear that parliamentary scrutiny is crucial in ensuring that Liam Fox does not sign dodgy deals in a desperate attempt to finally sign some.
“Instead of letting Liam Fox decide what’s in the national interest, this amendment will let Parliament decide whether a trade deal benefits our economy or is in fact potentially damaging.
“It is time that Ministers gave up on secretive trade negotiations so that the public can know the true cost of Brexit. Brexit will always make the UK poorer and the only real alternative is to offer the public a final say, with the option to stay in the EU”.
The text of amendment 12 can be found here.