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Government scraps plan to enforce human rights with Brexit trade deals, leaked letter reveals

Exclusive: Human rights to be kept ‘separate’ from trade talks despite earlier promises

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Sunday 28 August 2022 14:58 BST
Liz Truss claims Brexit caused no disruption

The government is no longer planning to use its Brexit trade deals to spread and enforce human rights around the world, a leaked letter from the international trade secretary has revealed.

Writing to MPs, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said human rights would be kept out of trade talks, and that she believed that “free trade agreements are not generally the most effective or targeted tool to advance human rights issues”.

The dramatic change in approach comes as the UK is attempting to sign a deal with Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates – all renowned for their poor human rights records.

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