Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:17 pm on 9th July 2015.

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Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Minister for Universities and Science, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Jointly with the Department for Education) 5:17 pm, 9th July 2015

I shall come to the point about debating it, but let me first deal with the hon. Lady’s point about an opt-out.

Of course it would always be great for the text of any agreement to contain all the reassurances that are required, but, even before yesterday’s vote, the Government were entirely satisfied that the position regarding TTIP would not threaten the public status of our NHS or other public services. We were entirely satisfied that there was absolutely no intention on the part of the Commission in negotiating the agreement, or on the part of any other EU member state, to allow the status of either our public services or theirs to be threatened. We are satisfied with the substance, although I acknowledge that more reassurance for our constituents would be welcome if it could possibly be provided. I fear that, to some extent, the hon. Lady praised 38 Degrees, but I would not be so kind. I think that, all too often, that organisation whips up a great many ungrounded fears. It is important for us, as Members of Parliament, to try to reassure our constituents.