Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade and Shadow Minister for International Climate Change, responding to the Times report on photographed documents from the Department for International Trade, said:
“Today we are reminded once again that the Secretary of State simply does not get it when it comes to the detail of contemporary international trade negotiations. His mission to pursue an 19th Century vision of free trade is dragging the U.K. backwards. Modern 21st Century trade agreements must address the critical issues of standards and protections facing our society and must work to tackle illegal trade and to address the non-tariff barriers that exist.
“Climate change and illegal wildlife trade are major international issues that require global cooperation and it is essential that trade agreements are designed in a way that takes account of and enables us to tackle these matters. That this government is willing to abandon critical efforts to protect future generations in order to schmooze potential trade partners now is not only utterly unacceptable; it reeks of desperation. What else is this government prepared to trade off in their frantic frenzy to obtain quick and dirty trade deals to mask any failure of their Brexit negotiations?
“The Tories, like to say Britain is open for business – what they don't like to admit is they are prepared to sell the country's heritage and its principles.”