Cole Commission pushes for UKTI-UKEF merger

(Global Trade Review, London, 13 April 2015) The Labour Party's Cole Commission has called for the combination of the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and UK Export Finance (UKEF) agencies into one entity to achieve better co-ordination and support of British exporters. Cornerhouse, the Jubilee Debt Campaign and Friends of the Earth UK have argued that the continued subsidy of exporters through UKEF is only justifiable if such support is conditional on compliance with rigorous human rights and environmental safeguards and directed to incentivising a shift towards a low-carbon economy. This should include the adoption of legally-enforceable environmental and human rights standards and should empower the Secretary of State to prohibit support for classes of exports whose impacts are inconsistent with furthering the UK’s sustainable development and human rights objectives.