Make sure that t trade is fair for all

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - Aileen Burmeis­ter, Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor, Fair Trade Wales

BREXIT is gen­er­at­ing many col­umn inches and much un­cer­tainty about how we will fare out­side the Euro­pean Union. If the UK does, once again, start strik­ing its own in­ter­na­tional trade deals then it’s im­por­tant that these are fair – for us, and for mil­lions of farm­ers a and work­ers liv­ing in p poverty around the globe w who help put food on our ta­bles.

Hav­ing re­cently only marginally passed its way through West­min­ster, the Trade Bill is cur­rently on its way to the House of Lords for de­bate.

As it stands, the pub­lic, MPs, AMs and pro­duc­ers re­main pow­er­less to prop­erly scru­ti­nise or stop a new trade agree­ment, no mat­ter how dam­ag­ing it may be to the UK or farm­ers in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

The House of Lords will de­bate the Trade Bill at the be­gin­ning of Septem­ber. If be­tween now and then we can prove to peers how im­por­tant this is­sue is, they can push the Govern­ment to give us a proper say in our fu­ture trade deals.

Our trade deals are too im­por­tant to let the Govern­ment do them in se­cret. They af­fect all as­pects of our lives, as well as the liveli­hoods of the mil­lions of peo­ple who grow the food we en­joy ev­ery day.

Wales be­came the world’s first Fair Trade Na­tion in 2008. Our her­itage of farm­ing, min­ing and crafts lends it­self to show­ing sol­i­dar­ity with other farm­ers, work­ers and crafts­peo­ple around the world. As a na­tion we have long stood to­gether with peo­ple who are poor and op­pressed: from anti-slav­ery cam­paigns to the anti-apartheid move­ment.

A demo­cratic and trans­par­ent process for ne­go­ti­at­ing them is the only way we can en­sure trade works for ev­ery­one, but we’re run­ning out of time to prove this to the House of Lords.

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