A paradox of the Brexit referendum was that many of the loudest voices in support of continued EU membership were also those raised most strongly against the EU’s then central trade policy ambition.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), the proposed EU-US trade deal, was the core mission of the Juncker-led Commission, until the window for this complex multilateral agreement was closed by the election of President Donald Trump.

Against this background, supporters and opponents of Brexit can perhaps unite behind a wish that the UK learns from this bruising episode, which exposed Brussels to vociferous continent-wide accusations of being undemocratic, untransparent and in the pocket of vested interests.

Whatever UK-EU trade mechanisms emerge from the current Brexit negotiations, the failure of T-TIP has reinforced the need for our side to secure widespread buy-in from a multitude of different interest groups throughout the UK, if future trade deals are to succeed.

It is this belief that has inspired the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) to intervene with the Department for International Trade, to assert the principle that negotiating trade deals behind closed doors was no longer acceptable.

The ICC, of which SCC is a member, believes that the time is ripe to agree “A Trade Governance Model That Works for Everyone”: a framework to /ensure? that, outside of the EU, UK trade policy is more inclusive, transparent and democratic and benefits all stakeholders.

Supported by an informal alliance of organisations, including the British Chambers of Commerce, Confederation of British Industry, Federation of Small Business, Institute of Export and International Trade, ICC United Kingdom, Trade Justice Movement, TUC, UNITE the Union and 85 others, the proposed framework will provide the UK with an opportunity to establish what ICC calls “a robust, modern, democratic governance model to oversee trade policy, regardless of the form Brexit takes.”

While memories of T-TIP-era issues like alleged US corporate influence on the NHS, and the much-cited chlorinated chicken are still vivid, SCC alongside the ICC, sees the opportunity for an ex-EU UK to agree rules of engagement over trade that will allow UK officials to face their counterparts with more authority, confident of not being undermined by a cacophony of negative stories back home.

The ICC’s proposed framework has four elements: consensus building, transparency, democratic oversight, and the principle of net benefit for all, ideals which can unite us all, at least in theory.

As is to be expected from such a wide cross-section of interest groups, supporters of the framework will emphasise different parts of that agenda. SCC, which champions B2B relationships as the primary driver of international trade, naturally believes that private sector and business should play a leading role in formulating trade strategies, and that hands-on experience of negotiation makes business best attuned to trade practicalities.

We applaud this timely initiative by the ICC and will support it in future discussions with devolved and national governments. The UK has the chance to set new standards for trade negotiations, and perhaps heal some of the divisions caused by the Brexit debate.

Liz Cameron is chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce.