New clause 4 - Parliamentary approval of trade agreements

Trade Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:00 pm on 20th July 2020.

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Votes in this debate

  • Division number 78
    A majority of MPs voted not to require Parliamentary approval of negotiating objectives for free trade deals or of free trade deals themselves.

“(1) Negotiations towards a free trade agreement may not commence until the Secretary of State has laid draft negotiating objectives in respect of that agreement before both Houses of Parliament, and a motion endorsing draft negotiating objectives has been approved by a resolution of both Houses of Parliament.

(2) Prior to the draft negotiating objectives being laid, the Secretary of State must have—

(a) consulted with each devolved authority on the content of the draft negotiating objectives, and

(b) produced a sustainability impact assessment including, but not limited to, an assessment of the impact on food safety, health, the environment and animal welfare.

(3) The United Kingdom may not become a signatory to a free trade agreement to which this section applies unless a draft of the agreement in the terms in which it was to be presented for signature by parties to the agreement has been laid before, and approved by, a resolution of both Houses of Parliament.

(4) Before either House of Parliament may be asked to approve by resolution the text of a proposed free trade agreement, the Secretary of State must—

(a) consult with each devolved authority on the text of the proposed agreement, and

(b) lay before both Houses a report assessing the compliance of the text of the proposed agreement with any standards laid down by primary or subordinate legislation in the United Kingdom including, but not limited to, legislation governing or prescribing standards on food safety, health, the environment and animal welfare.

(5) In this section—

“devolved authority” has the meaning given in section 4(1) of this Act, and

“free trade agreement” means any agreement which is—

(a) within the definition given in section 4(1) of this Act, and

(b) an agreement between the United Kingdom and one or more partners that includes components that facilitate the trade of goods, services or intellectual property.”—(Mr Djanogly.)

Brought up.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

Division number 78 Trade Bill — New Clause 4 — Parliamentary Approval — Trade Agreements

A majority of MPs voted not to require Parliamentary approval of negotiating objectives for free trade deals or of free trade deals themselves.

Aye: 260 MPs

No: 323 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 63 MPs

Absents: A-Z by last name

The House divided: Ayes 263, Noes 326.

Question accordingly negatived.

The list of Members currently certified as eligible for a proxy vote, and of the Members nominated as their proxy, is published at the end of today’s debates.