Letter by leading academics calling for trade democracy

Posted on October 20, 2017

This letter was published in The Telegraph on 20 October 2017  


SIR – Modern trade agreements affect most sectors of the British economy, from agriculture and finance to energy and public services. Parliament has legislative rights across these sectors.

However, existing procedures for the ratification of trade agreements do not guarantee parliamentary or public oversight and scrutiny.

We call on the Government to include a procedure within the forthcoming Trade Bill for the negotiation and ratification of trade agreements that guarantees the following.

There must be transparency in trade negotiations, ensuring that the public has access to the information required to oversee and scrutinise them.

It must be the right of Parliament, with a remit for the devolved administrations, to set a detailed mandate to govern each trade negotiation, to be kept informed of the progress of negotiations and to approve or reject the final agreements.

The public must have the right to be consulted when setting a mandate, and Parliament must have the right to initiate the withdrawal from trade agreements in accordance with each agreement’s provisions for exit.

As Britain regains responsibility for trade policy, it is crucial that a broad spectrum of stakeholders participate in the development of that new policy. Therefore, the Government must take the chance to establish a procedure for the development of trade agreements that is transparent and inclusive.


Dr Hannah Bargawi, Senior Lecturer in Economics, SOAS, University of London

Professor Andreas Bieler, Professor of Political Economy, University of Nottingham

Dr Liam Campling, Reader in Political Economy, Queen Mary, University of London

Professor Philip G Cerny Professor Emeritus of Politics and Global Affairs, University of Manchester and Rutgers University-Newark

Professor Paul Craig, Professor of English Law, Oxford University

Lord Meghnad Desai, Emeritus Professor of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science

Dr Matthew Eagleton-Pierce, Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy, SOAS, University of London

Dr Jeanette Findlay, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Glasgow

Professor Valpy FitzGerald Professor Emeritus of International Development Finance, University of Oxford

Professor Mary Footer, Professor of International Economic Law, University of Nottingham

Dr Clair Gammage, Lecturer of Law and Director of Employability, University of Bristol

Dr Maria Garcia, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Bath

Professor Barry K Gills, Professor of Development Studies, University of Helsinki

Associate Professor James Harrison, Associate Professor, University of Warwick

Professor Tony Heron, Professor of International Politics, University of York

Dr Holger Hestermeyer, Shell Reader in International Dispute Resolution, Kings College London

Professor Susan Himmelweit, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Open University

Leslie Huckfield, PhD Student and Visiting Senior Fellow, Glasgow Caledonian University

Dr Stephen Hurt, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Oxford Brookes University

Associate Professor Emily Jones, Associate Professor in Public Policy, Oxford University

Dr Neil Lancastle, Senior Lecturer, De Montfort University

Dr Mark Langan, Senior Lecturer in International Politics, Newcastle University

Professor Andrew Le Sueur, Professor of Constitutional Justice, University of Essex

Professor Michael Lipton, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Sussex University

Professor Steven McGuire, Professor of Business and Public Policy and Head of the School of Business, Management and Economics, University of Sussex

Professor Jonathan Michie, Professor of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange, University of Oxford

Dr Satoshi Miyamura, Senior Lecturer in the Economy of Japan, SOAS, University of London

Dr Mario Mendez, Reader in Law, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Simon Mohun, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Jamie Morgan, Leeds Beckett University

Professor Oliver Morrissey, Professor of Development Economics, University of Nottingham

Professor Peter Muchlinski, Professor of International Commercial Law, SOAS, University of London

Dr Valbona Muzaka, Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy, Kings College London

Professor Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford

Professor Tonia Novitz, Professor of Labour Law, University of Bristol

Professor Ozlem Onaran, Professor of Economics, University of Greenwich

Professor Ronen Palan, Professor of International Political Economy, City, University of London

Dr Jonathan Perraton, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Sheffield

Dr Sophia Price, Head of Politics and International Relations, Leeds Beckett University

Professor David Richards, Professor of Public Policy, University of Manchester

Associate Professor Ben Richardson, Associate Professor in International Political Economy, University of Warwick

Dr Miriam Ronzoni, Reader in Political Theory, University of Manchester

Professor Alfredo Saad Filho, Professor of Political Economy, SOAS, University of London

Emeritus Professor Malcolm Sawyer, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Leeds

Dr James Scott, Lecturer in International Politics, Kings College London

Emeritus Professor Prem Sikka, Emeritus Professor of Accounting, University of Essex

Professor Pritam Singh, Professor of Economics, Oxford Brookes University

Dr Gary Slater, Associate Professor in Economics, University of Leeds

Professor Adrian Smith, Professor of Human Geography, Queen Mary University of London

Dr Silke Trommer, Lecturer in Politics, University of Manchester

Professor William Twining, Quain Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus, University College London

Dr Roberto Veneziani, Reader in Economics, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Matthew Watson, Professor of Political Economy and ESRC Professorial Fellow, University of Warwick

Professor John Weeks, Emeritus Professor of Economics, SOAS, University of London

Professor L Alan Winters, Director, UK Trade Policy Observatory, University of Sussex