Trade Agreements: Conditions of Employment and Human Rights

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 30th June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of preferential trade agreements on (1) labour standards, and (2) human rights.

Photo of Lord Grimstone of Boscobel Lord Grimstone of Boscobel The Minister of State, Department for International Trade, The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The United Kingdom has a strong history of safeguarding rights and promoting our val-ues globally. Our strong economic relationships with trading partners allow the Govern-ment to have open discussions on a range of difficult issues, including rights and responsibilities.

The United Kingdom upholds its international labour standard commitments through domestic legislation and any Free Trade Agreements that we finalise with other countries will not change those commitments.

Further, we are clear that more trade does not have to come at the expense of our track record in upholding rights and responsibilities. We will include measures that allow the United Kingdom to maintain the integrity, and provide meaningful protection, of our world-leading labour standards, and we continue to encourage all states to uphold international rights and obligations too.

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