Human Rights Protections in International Agreements Contents

Appendix 2: Excerpt from the Government’s Response: Human rights and business 2017: promoting responsibility and ensuring accountability: Committee’s Sixth Report of Session 2016–2017

Human rights clauses in trade deals

We welcome the Government’s commitment that new bilateral trade agreements will include human rights protections at least equal to those currently included in EU trade agreements. We look forward to seeing this adhered to and will monitor progress with interest. (Paragraph 238)

The UK has a strong history in protecting human rights and promoting our values globally. We will continue to promote our values globally after we leave the EU. The UK is considering all options in the design of future bilateral trade negotiations.

We encourage the Government to use the opportunity of Brexit to set higher human rights standards in future trade agreements, to include workable provisions on enforcement, and to undertake human rights impact assessments before agreeing trade agreements. (Paragraph 239)

We are exploring all options in the design of future bilateral trade and investment agreements, including how we will monitor and enforce these. We are committed to upholding the UK’s high standards. We will of course continue to encourage all states to uphold international human rights obligations.

Published: 6 March 2019