TTIP update

A long-awaited vote on TTIP in the European Parliament, unfortunately postponed from last month, has been rescheduled for this Wednesday.

Just to reiterate the key points:

  • A final draft of TTIP is not imminent — it is most probably years away.
  • When the draft is completed, MEPs will have the power to accept or reject it.
  • Depending on the content, it may also need to be agreed individually by every EU country.
  • For now, we are not voting on TTIP. We are voting on what message we want to send to the negotiators about what we will and will not accept in a final version of TTIP.
  • Our draft report currently includes strong safeguards for NHS, public services, workers, food standards and environmental standards. Conservative MEPs have submitted an amendment to try and weaken these safeguards, and we will be voting against that amendment. If this amendment passes in the face of our opposition, we will vote against the report as a whole.
  • Labour MEPs also want investor-state dispute settlement schemes (ISDS) to be excluded. We have submitted an amendment to this effect, and we will vote against the report as a whole if it is insufficiently clear on this point.

The European Parliament has now voted on its red lines in the negotiations on TTIP. Labour MEPs voted to keep public services out of the future deal, to ensure that workers’ rights and environmental standards go up and not down, and to reject the idea of secret tribunals that allow companies to take governments to court. Following the vote, I explained my reasonings to Parliament:

The resolution sets out a number of red lines for Parliament ahead of the resumption of negotiations on the possible TTIP agreement. The red lines make it clear that Parliament will not accept any threats to public services nor to regulatory standards, but it is not sufficiently clear in opposing the proposed ISDS privileged court for foreign investors, hence the negative vote of Labour MEPs.

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