Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 14 January 2016.

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Photo of Roger Godsiff Roger Godsiff Labour, Birmingham, Hall Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment the Government has made of whether the TTIP trade deal will make the UK more vulnerable to lawsuits; if the Government will insist that TTIP does not contain provisions which would allow similar lawsuits to be brought in the UK; and if the Government will reconsider its support for TTIP in response to that lawsuit.

Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Government does not comment on cases in which it has no involvement. Under UK laws a foreign investor can already sue the Government over allegedly unfair or unlawful treatment. UK domestic courts and our legal system will continue to be the main route for resolving the vast majority of disputes between foreign investors and the Government regardless of any investment protection provisions included in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This is because our domestic courts typically offer a quicker and cheaper method of resolving disputes.

The European Commission has published its proposal for investment protections in TTIP. This includes various possible measures to ensure these provisions are fair and transparent, including prohibiting claims from being pursued simultaneously under investor-state dispute settlement provisions and in domestic courts.

The UK will continue to work with the Commission on the details of these latest proposals. We need investment protections that ensure UK investors are treated fairly overseas by foreign governments. But the UK will make sure that governments can continue to regulate lawfully in the public interest.

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