PARLIAMENT has just voted to tie its own hands on future trade deals.

In a vote on the Trade Bill on February 9, MPs voted to drop an amendment that would have guaranteed them a vote on trade deals.

It is disgraceful that Darlington’s MP, Peter Gibson, was one of those who voted to drop this democratic procedure.

The dangers of high risk trade deals, such as ones with the US or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, are real.

They could undermine food standards, raise medicine prices for the NHS, affect the way public services are run, and impact workers’ rights. And at a time when we are facing a climate emergency, they could also block climate action.

Usually in domestic law, Parliament would get a vote on issues like this. But trade deals are international treaties and can effectively override this, which is why it was so vital that our Parliament also got a vote on the trade deals themselves.

This vote was a dereliction of duty by most Conservative MPs and a power-grab by the Government. It’s to Mr Gibson’s shame that he has again failed the people of Darlington.

James Simpson, Darlington.