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Backbench Business — Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Part of National Insurance (Renaming) – in the House of Commons at 1:54 pm on 25th February 2014.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Labour, Wentworth and Dearne 1:54 pm, 25th February 2014

I had not heard that statement and I am surprised that the financial services industry has the detailed text of what is on the table, because we are not yet at that stage of the negotiations.

I want to do two things: first, I want to spell out a progressive economic case for trade and for the TTIP, and secondly, I want to set out four tests that I think a good TTIP deal and the Governments and negotiators involved must meet. On the economic case and why it is so important to the UK at present, I think that the great depression of the 1930s was the last economic crisis that was in any way comparable to what we suffered in 2008 with the global financial crisis and downturn. The policies pursued by the UK and the US back in the ’30s are, I think, widely seen to have prolonged that slump and held back any recovery. Not only were there deep cuts in public spending; there was also a sharp rise in protectionism and a decline in multilateral trade. Therefore, part of the reason why deals such as the TTIP and, indeed, the EU’s recent agreements with Canada and Korea are so important is that they avoid that default to beggar-my-neighbour economic policies and instead look to increase global trade through international co-operation. The UK has a particular need for the economic benefits and boost of trade.