To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations he has received from (a) members of the public and (b) civil society organisations on concerns over mechanisms for government accountability on trade policy and the negotiation of future trade agreements.
The Department engages regularly with stakeholders across the business community, civil society, academia and the public as a whole. This is achieved via a number of different engagement mechanisms such as stakeholder briefings and roundtables and the Department are committed to a transparent and inclusive trade policy.
The Department published a Trade White Paper in October 2017 setting out its ambition to build an independent trade policy and inviting views on our developing approach. The Department received 150 responses providing feedback and evidence in answer to specific questions posed in the policy paper and to our general approach to a future UK trade policy. In addition, The Department received a large number of responses (7,429) as part of a Civil Society campaign on transparency and inclusivity. The Department has carefully considered this feedback and in January published our response.
In addition to dialogue between Department for International Trade policy officials and stakeholders, the Department met with a number of White Paper respondents, to discuss their responses in more detail, gaining valuable insight which we will consider when developing our policy.