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 must move on. I am afraid that there are a number of issues to be discussed.

The hon. Lady referred to—and the right hon. Member for Gordon also dwelt on—some of the questions relating to the ability that corporate interests might be given to challenge regulations. I want to be very clear about what will be involved. The ISDS tribunals will be able to grant compensation for actions and decisions by Governments according to regulations that investors can show to have been unfair or conducted in an undue way. They will not be able to overturn, amend or eradicate any regulations that Governments bring in legitimately.

As a believer in the rule of law and as a practitioner of that rule of law in other phases of his life, the right hon. Gentleman will understand that it is always important that every decision by Government, every rule and every law that we pass can be challenged in court or in proper tribunals by those interests that are affected by them. What matters is that ultimately the responsibility for changing or amending those rules rests with Parliaments, and there is nothing in the agreement that would alter that fact.