Jo urges human rights element in EU-India trade deal

Joseph Johnson: I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on securing this timely debate. I will be brief. As hon. Members will know, the EU and India are five years into negotiating a complex free trade agreement in which the issue of human rights will soon rear its head.

Given that the right hon. Gentleman was a Minister for Europe in the previous Government, where does he stand on inclusion of an essential elements clause mandating protection of human rights in any eventual agreement? The previous Government made a particular exception for India, allowing the Commission to continue to negotiate with a view to not having an essential elements clause, one that appears in 120 other agreements around the world. Would the right hon. Gentleman recommend that the EU includes one going forward?

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