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The Brexit negotiations demonstrated long-standing weaknesses in parliament’s ability to scrutinise trade negotiations and international treaties – with much of the May government’s time spent managing attempts by parliamentarians to enhance their role. In light of the government’s post-Brexit ambition to conclude new trade deals with countries around the world, this panel examined how parliament currently scrutinises international treaties and what more parliamentarians should do to ensure effective scrutiny.


To discuss these issues, we were joined by:


Jill Barrett, , Associate Member 6 Pump Court, International Law Consultant and former Foreign Office legal adviser

Mark Garnier MP, Member of the House of Commons International Trade Committee and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Trade, 2016–18

Professor Holger Hestermeyer, Professor of International and EU law at King’s College London

Alex Horne, Counsel at Hackett and Dabbs LLP and Special Adviser to the House of Lords International Agreements Committee


The event was chaired by Maddy Thimont Jack, Associate Director at the Institute for Government.

The event was part of our day exploring 'Five years of the Department for International Trade: what progress has been made?'