A CAMPAIGN has been launched urging MPs to take action to stop post-Brexit trade deals being signed in secret and ensure protection for the NHS.

In July, Tories voted down amendments in the Trade Bill aimed at enabling MPs to scrutinise trade agreements and protect the NHS from any form of control outside the UK.

However, last week the House of Lords voted to include these clauses, meaning they will be decided on again when the legislation goes back to the Commons in early January.

Organisation We Own It, which campaigns against privatisation and for public ownership, is urging the public to put pressure on their MPs to sign up to a pledge to back the amendments.

Johnbosco Nwogbo, campaigns officer with We Own It, said the Lords had acted after being presented with a petition of 315,000 signatures calling for the changes.

He said: “After the bill moved to the House of Lords we have been lobbying peers to pass those two amendments into the bill and we were successful last week.

“One of the things the scrutiny amendment does is it forces the Government to seek input from the devolved authorities on any trade issues that relates to those nations.

“What we are doing now is putting pressure on MPs to make sure that when the Trade Bill comes back from the House of Lords into the House of Commons – as it is likely to do sometime in early January – and MPs have another opportunity to vote, we are in a position to get those amendments passed this time.”

So far eight SNP MPs have signed up to the pledge – the largest number from any party.

An NHS protection bill was a key part of the SNP’s 2019 General Election campaign. SNP MP Peter Grant has put forward a private members bill, which is now due to have its second reading in the Commons in January.

Nwogbo said the SNP had been very supportive of the campaign and he expected more MPs from all parties to sign up to it once the festive season was over.

“With the right amount of pressure we are likely to get more Conservative MPs – and hopefully we will get enough of them to force the Government to reverse course on their current actions at the moment, which is essentially putting pressure on MPs to vote against giving themselves the power to scrutinise trade deals,” he said.

“We are continuing to work on MPs on an individual basis.”