Trade Bill — After Clause 2 — Standards Affected by International Trade Agreements — 19 Jan 2021 at 18:47

The majority of MPs voted not to require changes to standards in pursuit of an international trade agreement to be approved by Parliament prior to Parliament considering the agreement itself, and not to give devolved administrations a veto over such changes.

The majority of MPs also voted against establishing a code of practice on maintaining United Kingdom standards in areas including food, animal welfare, the environment, human rights, welfare and labour law.

MPs were considering the Trade Bill.[1][2]

The amendment accepted by the majority of MPs in this vote

  • That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 6

Lords amendment 6[3] stated:

  • Insert the following new Clause—
  • Standards affected by international trade agreements
  • (1) The Secretary of State must by regulations made by statutory instrument establish a code of practice setting out how a Minister of the Crown should take steps to maintain standards established by any enactment regarding—
  • (a) food,
  • (b) animal welfare,
  • (c) the environment,
  • (d) human rights,
  • (e) welfare, and
  • (f) labour law,
  • if a proposed international trade agreement is likely to affect such standards.
  • (2) A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (1) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.
  • (3) The code under subsection (1) may provide that a Minister of the Crown ensures as far as possible that a future trade agreement is consistent with United Kingdom levels of statutory protection regarding, among other things—
  • (a) human, animal or plant life or health;
  • (b) animal welfare;
  • (c) the environment;
  • (d) food safety, quality, hygiene and traceability;
  • (e) employment and labour standards; and
  • (f) human rights and equalities, including but not limited to—
  • (i) women’s rights,
  • (ii) child rights, and
  • (iii) the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • (4) This is in addition to and does not impact on the provisions in section 42 of the Agriculture Act 2020 (reports relating to free trade agreements).
  • (5) Where a Minister of the Crown decides that it is appropriate and necessary to change standards in pursuit of an international trade agreement, a Minister of the Crown must—
  • (a) send a notification of the necessary changes to primary or subordinate legislation to the relevant Committee in each House of Parliament at the earliest opportunity;
  • (b) consult and seek the consent of the devolved authorities; and
  • (c) take steps to ensure that necessary changes to primary or subordinate legislation have completed their parliamentary processes before the final texts of agreed trade agreements, together with full impact assessments which cover the economic impacts and social, environmental, and animal welfare aspects of the agreement, are laid before Parliament under section 20 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.
  • (6) In this section, “United Kingdom levels of statutory protection” means levels of protection provided for by or under any—
  • (a) primary legislation,
  • (b) subordinate legislation, or
  • (c) retained direct EU legislation, which has effect in the United Kingdom, or the part of the United Kingdom in which the regulations have effect, on the date on which a draft of the regulations is laid.


Debate in Parliament |

Public Whip is run as a free not-for-profit service. If you'd like to support us, please consider switching your (UK) electricity and/or gas to Octopus Energy or tip us via Ko-Fi.

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Alliance0 10100.0%
Con353 (+2 tell) 4098.4%
Green0 10100.0%
Independent0 40100.0%
Lab0 197 (+2 tell)099.5%
LDem0 110100.0%
PC0 30100.0%
SDLP0 20100.0%
SNP0 470100.0%
Total:353 270098.9%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Tracey CrouchChatham and AylesfordConno
Simon HoareNorth DorsetCon (front bench)no
Neil HudsonPenrith and The BorderCon (front bench)no
Jason McCartneyColne ValleyConno

About the Project

The Public Whip is a not-for-profit, open source website created in 2003 by Francis Irving and Julian Todd and now run by Bairwell Ltd.

The Whip on the Web

Help keep PublicWhip alive