To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, for what reason she did not include an essential elements clause relating to human rights in the UK's free trade agreement with Vietnam, absent any cross-references in that agreement to other legally binding agreements relating to human rights.
18 January 2021
The United Kingdom has long promoted its values globally. We are clear that more trade does not have to come at the expense of our values. We have longstanding, deep relationships with Vietnam which will always allow HM Government to have open discussions on these issues.
The United Kingdom’s priority was to seek to replicate the effects of existing EU trading arrangements with Vietnam, as far as possible, into a bilateral arrangement by the end of the Transition Period. This did not include replicating the separate EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Instead a refreshed UK-Vietnam Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed on 30 September 2020, reflecting our close partnership.