What our MEPs are saying about #TTIP

38 Degrees members have been e-mailing their MEPs to get their positions on TTIP. Here are snippets of some of the replies sent in by 38 Degrees members. If an MEP isn’t listed here, it’s because they either haven’t replied, or we haven’t been sent their reply. The staff team will keep updating this when we receive responses!

You can click on any dodgy claims to see mythbusters!

JEAN LAMBERT, GREEN MEP FOR LONDON

“TTIP will make privatisation a ‘one way street’. This represents a real threat to the NHS and other public services. The NHS is already being torn apart by the current UK government’s damagingprivatisation agenda. Returning privatised services to the public sector will be much more difficult or even impossible under TTIP.

By including ‘Investor-State Dispute Settlement’ provisions, TTIP will undermine the rule of law. The ‘Investor-State Dispute Settlement’ mechanism (ISDS) establishes a parallel justice system, giving powers to private arbitration panels to award compensation to companies deemed to have suffered losses as a result of EU or national laws, with no recourse to appeal. ISDS undermines democracy and strengthens the power of private corporations.

TTIP will also lead to ‘harmonising’ of EU and US laws. This would have serious impacts on workers’ rights, environmental, animal protection and food safety standards, digital rights and financial regulation.”

JULIE GIRLING, CONSERVATIVE MEP FOR THE SOUTH WEST

“Although I am not directly involved in negotiations on this file, I can assure you that the Conservatives in the European Parliament are keeping a keen eye on developments in order to ensure that the final deal is in the best interests of the UK. There are many reasons why a comprehensive trade deal between the EU and the USA will benefit us.  The EU and the US are each other’s main trading partners and already enjoy the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world. Transatlantic trade flows (goods and services trade plus earnings and payments on investment) averaged $4 billion each day through the first three quarters of 2011. In 2008 EU/US combined economies accounted for nearly 60 % of global GDP.”

“the deal could bring an extra £10bn to the UK annually, which would give a huge boost to jobs in our economy at a time when we are still suffering with the effects of the economic crisis.  That is an extra £400 to every UK household”

“It is important to me that there is nothing in this proposed agreement that would weaken environmental regulation, lead to the privatisation of the NHS or allow private companies to overturn the laws made by democratically elected governments.”

“The European Commission became aware that there was a significant lack of transparency around the negotiations, and in January of this year it decided to suspend negotiations in order to carry out a further period of public consultation. EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht stated that, due to unprecedented public interest, the EU would take more time to consult and give the public the chance to have their say. This closed in mid-July and the results are now being assessed. Further details of this can be found here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-56_en.htm

“The Conservatives in the European Parliament support the inclusion of an ISDS chapter in the agreement, because even with developed countries with robust legal systems it provides certainty for our investors, including small and medium businesses, not just large multinationals. However, this clause’s inclusion will be subject to certain conditions.  Firstly, we must not allow for frivolous claims by companies against governments. Rest assured that this is not a mechanism that will allow for fundamental laws of the EU to be overturned by a foreign company.”

SION SIMON, LABOUR MEP FOR WEST MIDLANDS

“As Labour MEPs, we have made it clear that we will oppose any deal that endangers the NHS or  would prevent a future Labour government from bringing the NHS back into public administration. On this matter, the current UK government can easily obtain the exclusion of the NHS from any future deal, and we must keep pressing it to do so.  We will also not support any deal that in any way limits the sovereignty of the British people and the autonomy of its elected representatives, in particular through flawed ISDS mechanisms.”

VICKY FORD, CONSERVATIVE MEP FOR SOUTH WEST

“With regards to the NHS, there is a very clear position that the trade deal will not impact on national decision making regarding any public service. The NHS is therefore not put at risk by TTIP. I also recommend reading the letter sent from EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero to the Rt Hon John Healey MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on TTIP. This can be found here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2014/july/tradoc_152665.pdf

ASHLEY FOX, CONSERVATIVE MEP FOR SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND AND GIBRALTAR

“The purpose of TTIP is to remove as many unnecessary barriers as possible to trade between the EU and the USA.  A successful agreement could add £10 billion to our economy every year, benefitting an average family of four by an extra £400 per year.”

TTIP will NOT lower our food standards. It is not true that TTIP will allow genetically modified foods and hormone beef from the US to enter our supermarkets. What is illegal here will remain illegal.

TTIP will NOT change the way the NHS is run. It will remain for the UK. Government to decide how all public services, including the NHS, are run. Access to NHS services will continue to be based on patients’ needs, not ability to pay. Local NHS commissioners will remain in charge of deciding who should provide services in the best interests of patients. It is up to each member state, not the EU or any provision in TTIP, to determine whetheror not to open up public services to competition. TTIP does NOT give businesses a carte blanche to sue the Government. The EU has made it clear that the freedom of national governments to regulate would be explicitly protected.”

JUDE KIRTIN-DARLING and PAUL BRANNEN, LABOUR MEPS FOR THE NORTH EAST

“As Labour MEPs, we have made it clear that we will oppose any deal that endangers the NHS or prevent a future Labour government from bringing the NHS back into public administration. On this matter, the current UK government can easily obtain the exclusion of the NHS from any future deal, and we must keep pressing it to do so.

 We will also not support any deal that in any way limits the sovereignty of the British people and the autonomy of its elected representatives, in particular through flawed ISDS mechanisms.”

CATHERINE BEARDER, LIB DEM MEP FOR THE SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND

“Regarding the NHS, allowing a market into the supply of equipment and the delivery of medical services by private undertakings is not new, as most of the supplies are provided by private companies, other than clinical services.  What must remain is that it is free at the point of delivery.  Other countries in the EU also have their own medical services to protect, and I can assure you I do not know anyone whose aim is to copy the US system of health care, and therefore will not agree to this type of health service by the back door.  The UK Trade Minister, Lord Livingston has said TTIP would not have any impact on the NHS and the idea that this will lead to privatisation of the NHS is not true.”