Labour Members of the European Parliament have welcomed a debate in Westminster about TTIP, the proposed trade deal between the USA and the EU. In particular Labour MPs are concerned about secret courts in trade deals which allow companies to sue governments which make decisions which threaten their profits or revenue. These courts, known as Investor State Dispute Settlements are present in some UK negotiated trade deals but Labour MPs and Labour Members of the European Parliament are opposed to them.
The last time TTIP came before the European Parliament Labour MEPs voted against secret courts, against the inclusion of any public services in trade deals, and in favour of environmental standards and workers' rights should improve and not get worse as a result of any deal. The latest victory for Labour MEPs has come in the form of greater transparency over TTIP which means that all documents relating to the negotiations are available to members of national parliaments and MEPs. The negotiations are at an early stage but Labour MPs and Labour MEPs will keep up the pressure to ensure that any deal benefits ordinary people.