Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

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31 December 2015

I support trade agreements designed to boost trade and growth, secure and create jobs, and bring down costs and extend choice for consumers.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has the potential to bring significant benefits because Europe and the United States are the UKs’ most important markets.

However, TTIP could have a major impact on public services encouraging commercialisation, particularly in the NHS. The NHS and all public services need to be more, not less, integrated and I believe that the NHS should be exempt from the agreement.

Other countries have sought to exempt areas from the agreement but this Government has not done this. Labour will continue to press for exemption.

My other concern is about the Investor State Dispute Resolution (ISDS). Dispute mechanisms, commonly used in trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties, allow investors to take proceedings against a government that is party to that trade agreement. If the government is found to be in breach of the obligations, the investor can receive redress. The ISDS could hinder our plans to reverse the privatisation of the NHS as it could result in those companies seeking compensation for loss of potential earnings.

I believe that it is a right of governments to be able to legislate in the public interest and this should be protected effectively in any dispute resolution mechanisms. It seems clear to me that the Conservative Government do not share these concerns and I will continue to support my Labour colleagues in pressing for more parliamentary scrutiny. 

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