Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership concerns
In his new role as Spokesperson for the Socialist and Democrat Group on international trade, during a parliamentary debate in July David outlined his priorities and concerns for the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). David stressed to the European Commission that the Socialists welcomed the negotiations which have the potential to reach an agreement which will set high global standards and give small and medium-sized Scottish businesses the ease of access to the US market which multinationals currently enjoy. However he warned that the protection of public services including the NHS, maintaining EU food safety standards and preventing backdoor corporate power grabs were key priorities for the Group, and a final assessment of the deal will be needed before the Parliament votes to approve or reject the deal in the coming years. See video below.
Independence and Interdependence: Scotland’s referendum and Europe
In August David chaired a special speaking event at the Parliament in Brussels by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP. Introduced by European Parliament President and Leader of the Socialists and Democrats, Martin Schulz, Mr Brown considered the rise of nationalist movements in Europe and specifically, the progressives’ response to Scottish nationalism and the September 18th referendum. Listened to attentively by a packed auditorium, Mr Brown expanded on SNP miscalculations on the costs of joining and being part of the EU if an independent Scotland was to be admitted. His speech also explored why political nationalism, absent in Scotland for almost 300 years, has emerged as a powerful, but not unstoppable force. Speaking after the enormously successful event David said: "The debate in Scotland is not being held in a vacuum. The repercussions of the referendum in September will be felt across the European Union and is being closely watched in Europe's national capitals."