David Martin MEP

Labour Member of the European Parliament and one of the six MEPs representing Scotland in Brussels and Strasbourg

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Following this morning's announcement from the European Court of Justice (ECJ), that the EU’s free trade deal with Singapore must be ratified by a total of 43 national and regional parliaments, David Martin, Scottish MEP, S&D spokesperson for trade with South East Asia and Rapporteur for the EU-Singapore FTA, said:

 

"The good news is that today’s ruling by the ECJ finally unblocks the EU Singapore trade deal, which hopefully can be referred to the European Parliament soon for ratification. However, the implications of the ECJ’s decision are manifold and require careful consideration.

"EU trade policy must find the right balance between democratic accountability and effectiveness. The EU’s credibility as an international dealmaker and the very future of our trade policy are at stake and our partners are closely watching our every move."

He added:

"Today’s ruling will have a significant impact on its current and future trade agreements, including the post-Brexit deal.

Any agreement containing investor to state arbitration will have to be ratified by over forty different parliaments across the EU before entering into force. This process could take up to a decade, and that's on top of the time needed for negotiations in the first place.

As we saw with CETA, the EU-Canada trade deal, this extended ratification process also creates opportunities for smaller regions like Wallonia to block the whole agreement, thereby increasing the risk of failure and a catastrophic 'no deal' scenario."

David Martin MEP: EU-Singapore ruling will have “significant impact” on trade agreements, including UK post-Brexit deal

Following this morning's announcement from the European Court of Justice (ECJ), that the EU’s free trade deal with Singapore must be ratified by a total of 43 national and regional...

When news broke last year that the wreck of British explorer Sir John Franklin’s second ship, HMS Terror, had been found off the coast of Canada, over 150 years after the ill-fated crew set sail, the article stubbornly remained perched at the top of many newspapers’ most-read article lists.

It is clear that the public appetite for North Pole adventures has not abated with time.

As the formerly treacherous ice becomes more accessible due to environmental change, the Arctic presents us policymakers with pressing challenges. It is estimated that vast reserves of fossil fuels lie underneath the ice.

Clearly, there is a strong economic incentive for countries to exploit this, although the environmental impact could be disastrous if these resources are not managed sustainably.

Likewise, new shipping routes and cross-border business partnerships provide opportunities as well as risks.

A forward-looking and sustainable trade policy in the Arctic can both serve Europe’s economic and strategic interests, while protecting and promoting our high environmental standards.

CETA lays down binding commitments on fisheries and forestry products while promoting e­ffective cooperation on environmental issues and encouraging the development and use of business corporate and social responsibility standards.

Although TTIP is on ice for the moment, we have made it clear that the substantive provisions within CETA’s ambitious sustainable development chapter are only a baseline for future negotiations.

In addition, all future EU trade deals with non-EU Arctic partners will have to take the peculiarities of the Arctic into account. With other partners, the situation is more complicated. The EU’s political problems with Russia are well known and without a trade deal, or any prospect of one, our leverage is limited.

Nevertheless, a dialogue on Arctic environmental issues must be kept open, based on the 1997 EU-Russia partnership and cooperation agreement.

Although China doesn’t itself have territory in the Arctic, like some other Asian countries it is interested in the possible new economic opportunities on o­ffer. We must monitor the e­ffects of the 2013 trade deal between Iceland and China closely because of the access it could give Chinese goods to the single market.

More generally, through our trade policy we must focus on bringing economic opportunities to local and indigenous peoples in Arctic areas.

Nevertheless, the unique Arctic ecosystem and the wildlife that depends on it must be protected. On the issue of wildlife preservation, the WTO upheld the EU import ban on seal products, challenged by our Arctic partners - Canada and Norway.

This is a welcome decision and reinforces the tough line that the European Parliament has taken on this issue, as well as providing an important precedent for future wildlife protection legislation.

A new race to explore the Arctic has begun, but in this case, failure won’t just lead to the death of an adventurous crew. Failure in the Arctic now will have global consequences. As the world looks to tap the economic potential of this continually changing region, the EU must continue to provide environmental leadership through trade. Our world depends on it.

David Martin (S&D, UK) is the European Parliament’s international trade committee opinion rapporteur on an integrated EU policy for the Arctic.

David Martin: The EU must provide environmental leadership in the Arctic through trade

When news broke last year that the wreck of British explorer Sir John Franklin’s second ship, HMS Terror, had been found off the coast of Canada, over 150 years after...

In September 2014 I voted to keep Scotland in the UK.  In June 2016 I voted to keep the UK in the European Union.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. Edinburgh a city I have represented in this House for 33 years voted 75% to 25% to remain.

The feeling in Scotland is that we are being dragged out of Europe against our will - a feeling only compounded by Mrs May's determination to pursue a hard BREXIT.

The resolution we are about to vote on recognises this fact but provides no solution.

The Council document calls for flexible and imaginative solutions to be found for Ireland - I agree, but ask why not also for Scotland?

The Scottish Government has put forward an imaginative and flexible solution for Scotland.
It deserves serious consideration in this house.

If the UK is not flexible in these talks, the UK will not only be leaving the European Union. The UK will cease to exist.

Statement from David Martin MEP at today's European Parliamentary debate on BREXIT

In September 2014 I voted to keep Scotland in the UK.  In June 2016 I voted to keep the UK in the European Union.


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