Skip to main content

Trade Policy: Consultation with Unions

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 19 November 2020

What steps her Department is taking to consult (a) trade unions and (b) civil society organisations on the development of trade policy. (908993)

We are committed to making sure that our ambitious global trade policy works for every corner of our United Kingdom. Trade unions and civil society are crucial to that, so I am delighted to have expanded our engagement to include a dedicated trade union advisory group and a series of civil society and think-tank roundtables from across the political spectrum, which I will chair.

I recently had a meeting with Jonty Cliffe and Claudia Bayley, the chairs of the Cheshire Young Farmers Club, and they were concerned to make sure that the views and priorities of all young people who work in agriculture and affiliated industries were fully integrated and taken into account by the work of the Trade and Agriculture Commission. I have raised this issue with the commission’s chair, Tim Smith, but will my hon. Friend also discuss it with the commission to make sure that those views and priorities are taken into account, because those young people are the future of British farming?

That is a great and typically thoughtful question. The TAC includes representative bodies from the length and breadth of Britain, so I encourage young farmers and others to continue to share their views with those bodies, which work proactively to provide insight to us and the TAC. Indeed, as my hon. Friend says, many young farmers—such as Jonty and Claudia in the Cheshire Young Farmers Club in my hon. Friend’s county and Tom Janaway in the National Farmers Union in mine—are already actively involved in sharing their views.