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Labour Rights and UK Trade Agreements: A Policy Seminar

Labour Rights and UK Trade Agreements:

A Policy Seminar

Bronte Room, British Library, 96 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2DB

Tuesday 4th July 4-6pm followed by a drinks reception


Please register here (spaces limited)

A Policy Brief -'Taking Labour Rights Seriously in a UK-EU Trade Agreement: Protect, Promote, Empower' This brief will be discussed at the policy seminar 

The UK has triggered Article 50. How might different EU-UK arrangements impact on the protection of labour rights? And if the UK does leave the EU Customs Union, how should labour rights be addressed in future UK trade agreements? Dr James Harrison from the University of Warwick and colleagues discuss lessons for UK trade policy arising from a major research project analysing labour standards provisions in EU trade agreements. Rosa Crawford from the Trades Union Congress and Paul Keenleyside from the Trade Justice Movement will then provide their perspectives on the best way forward for the UK. Audience participation is very much encouraged.

Key questions will include:

  • What are the reasons for, and risks of, including labour rights in trade agreements?
  • Will labour rights play an important role in a post-Brexit UK-EU agreement?
  • What can we learn from the experience of the EU or USA in including labour rights in trade agreements?
  • What should a labour rights agenda look like in UK trade policy? What should it aim to achieve? And what might be its inherent limitations?
  • Should labour rights be included in unilateral as well as bilateral trading arrangements?

This policy seminar originates from research project entitled ‘Working Beyond the Border: European Union Trade Agreements and International Labour Standards’ funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. The seminar is funded by the Warwick Impact Fund. The project team is: Professor Adrian Smith, Dr Liam Campling and Dr Mirela Barbu from Queen Mary University of London, and Dr James Harrison and Dr Ben Richardson from the University of Warwick.