Today’s Select Committee report on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership points to many advantages of a future trade deal with the USA, but it also highlights serious risks, says Yorkshire MEP Richard Corbett.
The House of Commons Select Committee for Business, Innovation and Skills has published the results of its investigation into the so-called TTIP, a proposed free trade deal between the US and the EU.
Local Labour MEP Richard Corbett has been closely involved in discussions about TTIP at a European level, and recently wrote a lead article for pro-EU campaign group British Influence about the pros and cons of a future deal from the British perspective. The article has been widely circulated in the light of the Select Committee’s report today.
Discussions on the deal are unlikely to be concluded for several years – at which point the European Parliament will have the power either to confirm or to veto the draft agreement. But widespread public debate in the UK and in other European countries has already made TTIP one of the most high-profile issues in local Euro-MPs’ mailbags.
The Select Committee is quite right to highlight that arguments about TTIP to date have been too much about speculating and whipping up support, and not enough about the facts of what we stand to gain – or lose.
A high-quality free trade deal with the USA has the potential to benefit Britain and Europe enormously. But we must use our influence to make sure it’s a deal which works for Britain, and Labour MEPs are already having significant successes.
We will not approve any deal that undermines Europe’s high regulatory standards, threatens our vital public services, or uses extra-judicial tribunals to undermine our court system.
Since the European Parliament’s consent will be needed for any deal to take effect, negotiators are already taking on board the strong signals we’re sending now about what is and isn’t acceptable.
Notes for editors
- Richard Corbett is Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire & Humber, and Deputy Leader of the Labour MEPs. He is currently Vice-Chair of the European Movement in the UK, and was formerly the spokesperson for the Socialist & Democratic group on EU reform. He was first elected in 1996.
- The Select Committee report on TTIP is available at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/business-innovation-and-skills/
- Richard’s lead article for British Influence is available at http://www.britishinfluence.org/shaping_transatlantic_trade