The House of Lords has once again stood firm as a voice of morality and reason as this government seeks to reject any imposition of minimum standards when making trade deals. The Lords has become a major source of opposition to this government as Conservative and independent peers regularly find themselves at odds with the right wing cabal that operates from Downing Street.
Yesterday, the amendment to stop any trading with countries involved with genocide was passed by a massive majority of 171 votes. The Lords also insisted on putting back the amendment guaranteeing existing standards on animal welfare, food and environment. These amendments merely confirm the common sense and common ground approach to trade we have developed during our forty years of working closely with European partners.
The amendment on transparency was also passed. Our Parliamentary democracy is in a desperate need of a post Brexit upgrade when it comes to government accountability. MPs simply haven’t had to do the job of monitoring major trade deals for the last few decades. A second chamber elected via PR, would be ideally suited for this role and could act as a sensible counter balance to the executive. With such muted opposition among MPs, a revising chamber that seeks to put common ground solutions on a cross party basis, is more needed than ever.
This is my speech on the role of the Lords and the lack of democracy when discussing trade deals.