Nick Dearden misses, probably deliberately, the basic idea of why trade talks are secret:
What the whole incident really underlines is Johnson’s commitment to secret government. Like the Russia report, the trade papers should have already been in the public domain. Allegations of foreign interference in elections, and trade deals that will change the way our economy and society work, are things we all need to know about. Johnson has shown the depth of his commitment to keeping such information from us – and deliberately spreading disinformation when there’s any attempt to expose the facts to the light of day.
So, why is it that such negotiations should be secret?
Well, because they’re negotiations. Because the whole point of them is to say well, if we let you have this bit then what do we get back for it? What’s the give and take here? The aim being to reach some sort of balance where each side is sufficiently unhappy about what they’ve had to give that they threaten to leave but sufficiently happy about what they gain that they’ll sign.
At which point we can’t have 65 million back seat drivers peering over the negotiations shouting that this is a red line that cannot be crossed. Back seat drivers like Nick Dearden who want to insist that no morsel of chlorine washed chicken should ever pass a British lip. What, not even if we get granted entire, whole and complete free trade access to the American economy in return? According to Dearden probably not and according to what might be an acceptable deal probably.
That is, Dearden, the very person shouting for transparency, is the reason we don’t and can’t have it. Who could negotiate a balanced deal with Gobbo screaming in their ear?