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Commenting on proposals announced today to reform the government’s trade advisory groups, which will mean a lesser role for unions, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“When ministers sit at the negotiating table to make trade deals, they must be properly briefed on the needs of Britain's working people.

“But the new advisory group structure will mean workers have less of a say. It means fewer groups with union seats. It upsets the balance between the voices of workers and business. And it means UK workers will get less of a say than workers in the US and the EU, where unions have a real voice in the negotiating process.

“The UK needs trade deals that promote good jobs, protect workers’ rights and safeguard public services like the NHS. The government must reconsider. It is hard to see how our trade deals can be negotiated in the wider public interest if workers’ voices are excluded.”

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