We have had questions about how leaving the EU would affect TTIP. It is the Governments of the member states that set the EU trade mandate and one of the biggest supporters of TTIP and secret courts (ISDS) is our own UK Government. They are pushing the deal and it is actually the European Parliament which is challenging the negotiators in a way that Westminster isn’t set up to do if the UK Government was acting alone.
If we did leave the EU any negotiations with America would be very one sided as they are a much bigger economy than the UK is alone. It is by negotiating as the EU that we can get concessions off the USA. The truth is that if we leave the EU the power to negotiate deals would sit with Cameron and Osbourne and their chums and that’s not the progressive future I’d like to see.
There’s more to be done to get the TTIP we all want to have but working with our neighbours in the EU is the best chance of doing that than putting power solely in the hands of the Tories.
Transparency in TTIP
We are continuing to push for transparency in TTIP. On 2nd December 2015, along with several other MEPs, we submitted a question to the European Commission about allegations from the Guardian that ExxonMobil had been given access to confidential documents concerning the energy chapter of the TTIP agreement, which is currently being negotiated between the EU and the USA.
We asked if there was any truth in these allegations and that if there was, that the documents would be published for the general public.
The Commission has recently responded saying “There is no truth in the allegations that representatives of the business community would have been given access to confidential documents relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement.”
They add that “the Commission has discussed with many stakeholders, including companies and NGOs, and has also asked civil society, NGOs, trade unions and consumer groups for their views, as the aim is to provide more choice and more competitive prices without lowering levels of protection or changing safety regulations.”
While are pushing for greater transparency in TTIP negotiaitions, it is welcome news that multinational companies are not being given privilaged access to information. This is a benefit of these negatiations being conducted through the EU. It is not certain that a Conservative governemnt that has consistantly favoured wealthy companies would be as even handed when conducting trade deals.