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Written by:
Paul Holland
25 Oct 2021

Professor Lorand Bartels, Trinity Hall Staff Fellow in Law, is the Chair of a newly launched Trade and Agricultural Commission (TAC).

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan launched the new strengthened Trade and Agriculture Commission as part of the Government’s response to the previous Commission’s recommendations.

Chaired by the Professor of International Law, the new TAC will provide expert scrutiny of new trade deals once they reach the signature stage, helping ensure world-leading British agricultural standards are upheld.

Dr Lorand Bartels

Professor Lorand Bartels

Professor Bartels said: “It is a great privilege to be able to use my academic work on free trade agreements to practical use, and on a topic of such great public importance and interest; namely how, if at all, trade agreements affect domestic regulation on environmental and animal welfare protections.”

He added: “I am looking forward to getting started in the role and working with my new colleagues, who bring a wide range of expertise from different fields that will be of great benefit to the Commission.

The Commission has an important role to play in the scrutiny of new Free Trade Agreements and it’s exciting to be involved as the UK forges new trading relationships all around the world.”

The Government is also setting out more detail on measures being introduced to support farmers, in response to recommendations in the original TAC report. They include a new cohort of international ‘agri-food attachés’ who will work around the world to promote export opportunities for UK farmers and producers, providing market intelligence and technical expertise.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “I’m delighted to welcome Professor Lorand Bartels as Chair of the new Trade and Agriculture Commission. A trade lawyer and academic, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role and I look forward to working together.

“I’m grateful to all the members of the original Trade and Agriculture Commission for their thorough and wide-reaching report. I want our farmers and food producers to be positive about the export opportunities that exist and take advantage of booming demand for British exports.”

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “We welcome the contribution that the TAC report has made as we consider future trade policy and the approach that we will take to ensure that our high standards of food safety are maintained.”

The new Commission will have a formal role to inform Parliamentarians and the public about how new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are consistent with UK laws on animal welfare, animal and plant health, and the environment. Its members have expertise across the agricultural, food production, veterinary, animal welfare, environment and international trade policy sectors, among others.

The TAC’s advice will inform a government report which will be laid before Parliament ahead of the ratification of any new FTA and following the signature stage.

Other commitments in the Government’s response to the original TAC include going further than ever before to work with trading partners on animal welfare and tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in our trade agreements, and using our influence in multilateral organisations to push for improved environmental and animal welfare standards in food production.

Image: Stock Sky. Credit Mark Spurgeon. CC BY 2.0