While free trade agreements are aimed at boosting trade, too many cheap imports could threaten a country`s producers, which could affect employment. By 297 votes to 221, peers voted to withdraw a trade agreement in the event of serious human rights violations. Any existing EU agreement, which will not be rushed, will end on 31 December and future trade will take place on WTO terms until an agreement is reached. The UK negotiating team will work with its strategic trade advisory group throughout the negotiations.  Viscount Younger supported the government and stated: “This would touch the heart of the separation of powers in the British constitutional system and allow the Supreme Court to thwart trade agreements concluded by the government and ratified after parliamentary review.” The initiative for a free trade agreement between China and the United Kingdom (FTA) took place when the BCCC published its 2020 position paper on British companies in China in Beijing on Tuesday. The British Chamber of Commerce in China (BCCC) has called on the UK government to prioritise trade negotiations with China and work towards a bilateral free trade agreement as the world continues its fight against the COVID 19 pandemic and Britain tries to develop a post-Brexit economic strategy. As of 31 October 2020[update], the United Kingdom had concluded 24 trade agreements with 53 countries, some using mutatis mutandis an approach mutatis mutandis to quickly emulate existing agreements between the EU and these countries, specifying only these small areas of differentiation (which has reduced some agreements to about 40 pages from the initial region of 1400). Among them are significant economies — by nominal GDP — such as South Korea, Switzerland, Israel and South Africa. Ministers` room for manoeuvre in signing trade agreements with governments that abuse human rights has been severely reduced after a double defeat in the House of Lords. To date, more than 20 of these existing agreements, covering 50 countries or territories, have been shaken up with the exception of the I.V. and will begin on 1 January 2021. Based on 2018 figures, this represents about 8% of total trade in the UK. But it is clear that new agreements with some countries will not be ready in time.
Lynch said the position paper focused on challenges and opportunities in China and called on the British government and businesses to have a more open dialogue with China.