Commenting on the UK-Australia trade deal announced by the government Â which Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade Ann-Marie Trevelayn described as a ‘landmark deal’ the TUC General Secretary Frances Oâ€™Grady said:
â€śTrade deals can be a vehicle to improve workersâ€™ rights and protections, while providing new jobs and investment for communities that need it most. But because unions werenâ€™t properly consulted or listened to, this deal poses a threat to working people while contributing almost nothing to our economy.
â€śYet again the UK government has agreed a trade deal with no effective means to enforce fundamental labour rights or protections for migrant workers from exploitation. And there are other serious issues which could threaten workersâ€™ rights and conditions, like the failure to protect our public services and the lack of safeguards for how workersâ€™ data or NHS data is used.
â€śWhile there may be no sign in this agreement of ISDS, which is a court that would allow foreign investors to sue our government, there is still a very real risk UK-Australia trade will be subject to this court if we join the CPTPP as the government has indicated.
â€śItâ€™s time for ministers to listen to unions and start delivering trade deals that protect and improve workersâ€™ rights and deliver better job opportunities.â€ť