Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - Business, Innovation and Skills Contents


Conclusions and recommendations


Background

1.  Although we are at the end of the present Parliament, the negotiations on TTIP will continue. We urge our successor Committee, when it is reconstituted, to continue to monitor the TTIP proposals and the negotiation process. (Paragraph 6)

Economic benefits

2.  Whilst TTIP has the potential to deliver economic benefits to the United Kingdom, it is impossible at this stage to quantify those benefits in any meaningful way. Rather than continue to use the £100 billion figure, the Government must come up with a comprehensive assessment which includes the estimated economic yield of a variety of levels of agreement. (Paragraph 22)

3.  We further recommend that this assessment sets out the potential benefits and risks on a sector by sector basis, so that each area of our economy can better understand the impact of a trade deal. (Paragraph 23)

Investor State Dispute Settlement

4.  It is disappointing that BritishAmerican Business, the CBI and the IoD are so cautious about signing up to a 'loser pays' principle in ISDS cases. (Paragraph 39)

5.  We recommend that should ISDS provisions be included in TTIP, that they include clauses to remove frivolous claims. (Paragraph 42)

NHS and public services

6.  It is impossible for us to make a definitive statement until a final text of the draft provisions are published although we welcome the repeated statements given by both the European Commission and the UK Government that public services—including the NHS—will be unaffected by TTIP. However, we are aware that not all campaigners will accept these statements at face value. We recommend that the Government, in its response to the Commission's consultation, ensures that an unequivocal statement protecting public services at present—and the right to expand them in the future—is set out in any ISDS provisions. We further recommend that those draft provisions are made public, in advance of final decision, so that they can be subject to public scrutiny. (Paragraph 51)

European Commission consultation on ISDS

7.  By undertaking to consult with Member States, the European Commission has given EU Countries the opportunity to reshape the negotiating mandate on ISDS clauses. We have yet to be convinced of the need for ISDS provisions in TTIP. The UK Government and the EU must demonstrate that the advanced legal institutions of the EU and the US cannot protect foreign investors before any ISDS is considered in the TTIP. (Paragraph 54)

8.  Should ISDS provisions be included in TTIP, we believe that the following conditions will need to be necessary:

·  the inclusion of clauses to dismiss frivolous claims;

·  the exclusion of any clauses which would require the State to pay in all outcomes and a presumption that the loser should pay; and

·  the inclusion of a statement the right to regulate by Sovereign Nations take precedence over an investors right to invest is placed at the heart of ISDS provisions. (Paragraph 55)

9.  We are deeply concerned by the Minister's statement that there will not be any formal response by the Government to the European Commission's consultation on ISDS with Member States. It does not give the impression that the Government is treating seriously the concerns that have been raised about the range or use of such clauses and serves only to fuel the existing scepticism held by opponents of TTIP. It also has the potential to leave the UK on the margins of any debate to better frame ISDS negotiations. We recommend that the Government produces a formal response to the consultation exercise and for it to be published at the same time it is submitted to the European Commission. (Paragraph 56)

The debate on TTIP

10.  38 Degrees has an extensive membership, which it encourages to become active in all areas of society. It therefore can have a significant impact on debate. We encourage 38 Degrees to highlight this Report in its entirety, alongside those of the other Parliamentary Committees, to its membership so that the debate on TTIP can be moved forward. (Paragraph 63)

11.  BritishAmerican Business is a well-funded and vocal advocate of a trade deal. It therefore has a responsibility to engage fully in the debate on TTIP and not cherry-pick those areas it will and will not engage with. (Paragraph 64)

12.  We welcome the Ministers ambition to share more information and detail on TTIP with Members of Parliament and we recommend that Government continues to engage with all interested Parliamentary Committees. However, we do not believe this goes far enough. We recommend that the Department actively signposts information to all organisations involved in either supporting or opposing TTIP. (Paragraph 65)


 
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Prepared 25 March 2015