Yesterday, I spoke at a UK Parliamentary inquiry into how the UK could protect human rights in its post-Brexit treaties with other countries. Much of the focus was on international trade and investment agreements. Below you can see my opening thoughts on this issue. I argue that the rhetoric of human rights protections in such treaties globally is sadly not often matched by the reality of what they achieve in practice. The UK has the opportunity to set the bar much higher.
But there are grounds for concern that human rights issues are currently being mariginalised within trade and investment law-making processes. When Lord Ahmad, from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office later addressed the Committee, he gave the impression that human rights were not an important part of the discussions when the UK was agreeing its first post-Brexit trade deal with Israel earlier the same day (see 1 hr 16 minutes onwards in the full video below).