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Backbench Business — Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Part of National Insurance (Renaming) – in the House of Commons at 3:16 pm on 25th February 2014.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Minister without Portfolio 3:16 pm, 25th February 2014

Let me make some progress; otherwise, I will not be able to complete my speech in the appropriate time.

The question of investor-state dispute settlements—ISDS is the acronym—has given rise to fears that the proposed deal is a plot between multinational companies that are seeking to destroy our long-established standards in labour laws, environmental laws and so on. I really do not believe that that is the case. On the other hand, the concerns are being taken seriously. I realise that we have to have substance to my assertion that we are not raising or lowering standards on either side of the Atlantic and we are not usurping the role of legislatures, which is why the Commission has said that it is going to consult. I understand some of the fears that have been expressed, but I do think that people have got the wrong end of the stick and the fears are wholly exaggerated.