ANYONE who was worried about the controversial US-EU trade deal TTIP needs to take notice of the UK Government’s trade Bill, which slipped quietly into Parliament in the shadow of the EU Withdrawal Bill. The trade Bill could pave the way for post-Brexit trade deals just like TTIP (or worse). So we could be looking at trade deals that give multinational companies their own court system by which to sue governments, threaten public services, including the NHS, and undermine laws and regulations designed to protect public health and the environment.

And we know that the UK Government is keen to do a deal with the US. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox welcomed US trade negotiators to London last week to talk about just that.

The impact of these TTIP-style trade deals will be felt across the UK – including here in Scotland. Things that could be threatened by a US-UK trade deal include: food safety standards (examples often used are hormone fed beef and chlorine washed chicken), environmental standards (Scotland now has an indefinite moratorium on fracking and has banned the growing of GM crops), and the NHS (US private healthcare companies would love to get access to our health system).

And yet, as things stand, Scottish politicians may not, despite warm words, get any say in what those trade deals are like.

At the moment, the UK Parliament has no say in starting, negotiating, amending or signing trade deals. And the Scottish Parliament has no voice either, even though post-Brexit trade deals could have major impacts on many areas of policy devolved to Holyrood, such as health, food safety and the environment. The trade Bill contains no provisions to make trade policy accountable to Parliament and would allow this undemocratic situation to continue.

What’s needed is a completely new process that puts democratic decision-making at the heart of trade policy.

And which gives Scotland a voice. The trade Bill will be one aspect of that but Scotland also needs its own trade policy. My SNP colleagues and I will be putting down amendments to ensure that future trade negotiations have a strong voice and influence from all nations of the UK.

That’s what I’ll be saying when I speak at the cross-party launch of the Trade Justice Movement’s trade democracy campaign today at the House of Commons, alongside Labour’s trade spokesperson Barry Gardiner MP and Caroline Lucas of the Green Party.