Tories Keeping The Australia Trade Deal Hidden From Scrutiny

Remember that Brexit claim 'Taking Back Control' ? Handing it back to Parliament ?

Seems that the real intention - the actual plan, is to take that 'Control' away from Parliament.

You may remember that the Tories defeated an attempt (including by some of it's own MPs) to enable Parliamentary scrutiny on future Trade Deals. After all, if these deals are so WONDERFUL! surely more scrutiny will only lead to applause and accolades for Liz Truss, right ?

Specifically on the potential UK-Australia Deal, perhaps it's not so wonderful. Perhaps it's a dogs dinner. Perhaps it contains a so-far unchallenged clause; to have taxpayers reimburse British businesses for reduced profits as a direct result of the post-Brexit Trade Deal.

It's called the Investors-State Dispute Settlement Scheme, a system of courts of arbitration, held behind closed doors, away from public or media scrutiny, which allows businesses to seek compensation for loss of profits. The taxpayer pays for the whole system, and then pays out to the businesses.

This mirrors some tentative clauses in the EU-US TTIP which were eventually dropped.

In other countries, various multinationals have used similiar legislation to sue government for increasing the minimum wage, for reducing drug prices, for introducing environmental legislation, even against plain packaging on cigarettes.

This is Businesses being bailed out by the Taxpayer directly due to Brexit.

It's also allowing powerful multinationals to use the threat of ISDS to influence policy. Not really 'Taking Back Control', is it ?

No wonder they want to keep it under wraps.

The UK-AUS Trade Deal is being rushed through in an attempt to get it signed during the G7, so Johnson can have a photo-op.

Shadow Trade Minister Emily Thornberry said ...

It would be deeply worrying if the government is using the very first post-Brexit trade agreement written from scratch to hand major corporations power to challenge regulations that affect their profits, restricting our ability as a country to introduce new laws to protect the environment, public health, and the rights of workers and consumers.

It is yet another reason why this proposed trade deal needs proper scrutiny and debate, rather than being rushed through in secret for a signing ceremony at the G7.

Nick Dearden, the director of Global Justice Now ...

These courts would allow Australian companies to extract eye-watering payouts from the government for taking action on anything from climate change to workers’ rights, tying the hands of governments for a generation or more.

Nick Crook, of Unison, said ...

Australia already knows what ISDS means. Philip Morris tried to sue Australia after it sought to pass plain packaging legislation to protect public health. Australia eventually won - but it cost the Australian taxpayers A$24m in private tribunals.

Parliamentary Scrutiny ? That's so 1990s.

Taking Back Control' ? You didn't really believe that, did you ?