TTIP Update from Alyn Smith MEP
This is a quick update on recent developments regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) from Alyn Smith, SNP MEP.
The Lange Report (Mr Lange being the MEP responsible for drafting the report) takes stock of the negotiations so far and sets out the expectations of the Parliament going forward. The European Parliament was due to vote on the report, but the vote was postponed at the last minute and the report has been referred back to the International Trade Committee for further scrutiny.
I believe this is a sign that our pressure is paying off, and that the member state governments thought they were going to take a bloody nose in the vote. The Parliament has refused to be a rubber stamp.
The position of the SNP MEPs has been set by our party members at our conference in Glasgow last March. We are not anti-trade, but not trade at any price.
You can find background to the SNP position, video of my speech to conference in March and the resolution here:
The TTIP negotiations have a number of issues which cause us extreme concern. Unless we see considerable improvement in the text then I do not see that we would have been able to support the package. Perhaps the additional time will allow us to win more concessions, we will certainly keep up the pressure.
We are flatly opposed to Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), also known as Corporate Courts. As a former lawyer myself, I find the idea that companies and investors need a specific set of rules outwith the general law to be flatly offensive, given we are talking about some of the most developed legal jurisdictions in the world.
Similarly, I remain concerned about many other aspects (which for brevity I will not go into here but you will find on my website), and this postponement will give us time to push for more scrutiny. Unless I see specific exemptions for Scotland’s provision of public services then I will continue to oppose the package.
This will evolve fast, and is a live negotiation, but our SNP priorities are clear and we will oppose or support the eventual text on its merits.
Alyn Smith MEP