Sir Charles Walker MP, Broxbourne
Sir Michael Penning MP, Hemel Hempstead
Julie Marson MP, Hertford and Stortford
Oliver Dowden MP, Hertsmere
Bim Afolami MP, Hitchin and Harpenden
Sir Oliver Heald MP, NE Hertfordshire
Gagan Mohindra MP, SW Hertfordshire
Daisy Cooper MP, St Albans
Stephen McPartland MP, Stevenage
Dean Russell MP, Watford
Grant Shapps MP, Welwyn Hatfield
Mohammad Yasin MP, Bedford
Nadine Dorries MP, Mid Bedfordshire
Richard Fuller MP, North East Bedfordshire
Andrew Selous MP, South West Bedfordshire
Sarah Owen MP, Luton North
Rachel Hopkins MP, Luton South
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Dear MPs for Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire,
Stop the UK-US Trade Deal
We are extremely concerned that the UK trade deal with the US is being negotiated in secret with no parliamentary oversight. There is a very high risk that this deal will undermine many things which we value and will impact us nationally and of course locally in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
The Trade Deal with the US is not necessary, and offers only minimal economic benefits to the UK. We already trade with the USA and would continue to do so after Brexit, even without a trade deal. Once it is in place, future governments will be effectively “locked into” the deal, even if they wanted to change it.
The trade deal currently being negotiated threatens to:
- weaken the NHS and other public services and drive up medicine prices (currently these are up to 4 times higher in the USA than here). It could lead to irreversible privatisation of profitable sections of the NHS
- erode food, animal welfare and environmental standards in line with those that are currently acceptable in the United States. (For example chlorinated chicken, increased use of antibiotics and chemicals in farming, and unlabelled GM food). This would threaten the livelihoods of British farmers who follow higher standards
- block government action to tackle the climate crisis and encourage the use of dirty fossil fuels
- give increased power to ‘‘Corporate courts’ that allow foreign corporations to sue governments outside of the national legal system to challenge things like environmental protection or public health policy thus eroding democracy
- allow chemicals currently banned in the UK to be used in cosmetics or sprayed on crops
- increase the power of Silicon Valley online giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon, and make it even harder to get them to pay fair taxes
- water down privacy protection – (including online and NHS data). Thus increasing the amount of personal data being sold to corporations for profit
You, our MPs, are excluded from the terms and details of these trade talks, which in the UK are negotiated in secret, whereas US politicians get a say. Far from ‘taking back control’ the UK currently risks having the terms of the deal dictated to it by the far more powerful USA.
For the reasons summarised above, we believe these dangerous and undemocratic trade talks should be stopped. We call on you, our MPs, to use your collective power and influence to stop this Trade Deal and instead promote trade that works for people and the planet.