Edinburgh 'Meet Your MEP' event on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
It was a full house at the European Parliament office in Edinburgh on Friday 6 February. After a lengthy analysis of the TTIP agreement and its implications David answered a broad range of questions including the implications of ISDS being included in the agreement, fears concerning the NHS, regulatory convergence, access to medicines and how to harness unregulated globalisation by using trade to set environmental labour and human rights standards.
TTIP Summit at Scottish Parliament
On 19 February, at a packed debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in the Scottish Parliament, organised by the Hansard Society, David spoke about the potential benefits of the agreement as well as the concerns raised by campaigners including: the perceived threat to the NHS; the definition of public services; regulatory convergence and the need for it to raise rather than lower standards; and the investor state dispute settlement (ISDS). David stressed the very complex set of negotiations that will run to 28 different chapters and the time that will be necessary to analyse and assess whether it is a good or bad deal for the average European citizen before making a decision. Interviews with speakers can be seen here
European Year for Development
Two significant summits for progress in the developing world are due to take place this year: the UN Summit for the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals in September and the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in December.
The European Parliament has designated 2015 the European Year of Development (EYD) and in the parliament Labour MEPs will be calling for the sustainable develoment goals to include targets for the end of extreme hunger and malnutrition by 2030; ensuring all children, both boys and girls, receive a decent education; ending systematic violence against women and girls and empowering women to play an equal role in their societiies; and providing access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all by 2030.
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.