Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Backbench Business — Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Part of National Insurance (Renaming) – in the House of Commons at 3:05 pm on 25th February 2014.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ian Murray Ian Murray Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills) 3:05 pm, 25th February 2014

I shall be unpicking some of the arguments during the short time available to me. I think that ISDS is the subject of one of the most important criticisms of this process, and I shall be interested to hear what the Minister has to say.

The TTIP has huge potential. The CBI has rightly described it as a “global economic game changer”. It can create more jobs here in the UK, improve the wages of British workers, and deliver a better deal for our consumers, but only if we get it right. As we have heard, according to some assessments the potential gain to British output is between £4 billion and £10 billion, equating to between 1% and 3% in exports. We must, however, be cautious about the overall figures, as they have been questioned by some leading academics. My right hon. Friend the Member for Wentworth and Dearne has been asking for an area-by-area assessment, and I think that such an assessment would allow Members to sell the deal to their constituents. Perhaps the Minister will reflect on that.

Given that the European Union and the United States account for 40% of global economic output and that their bilateral economic relationship is already the world’s largest, the opportunities are clear for all to see. Between them, they contain more than 800 million consumers, and the TTIP has significant potential for them as well. It is clear from the helpful briefing sent to all Members by Which? that there will be big prizes for them if we can get this right. Opposition Members strongly support the principles behind the negotiations, and hope that their objectives—job creation, better wages, higher standards and consumer benefits—can be realised. That, indeed, should be the focus of all EU activity.

With the fourth round of talks scheduled to take place next month, things are moving rather quickly, but we are worried about the potential for the talks becoming derailed. Legitimate concerns raised by Members in all parts of the House about some aspects are not being taken as seriously as we would like by the Government.