David Martin MEP

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

Labour MEPs successfully push for labour and environmental protections in TTIP

Today (28 May) MEPs in the International Trade Committee in the European Parliament voted on its priorities for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the United States.

Led by the Group of the Socialists and Democrats, the committee voted in favour of including strong protection of labour and environmental rules, full exclusion of public services and the rejection of private tribunals in the proposed EU-US trade deal.

Labour MEPs tabled these key amendments, which serve as the basis of the European Parliament's common position. The conditions agreed today will have to be met in order to secure Parliamentary support for TTIP. The European Parliament has the power to veto any EU trade deal.

Scottish MEP David Martin, Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group spokesperson on international trade, added:

"Today we have sent a clear message that Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is not needed in TTIP; the ratification of International Labour Organization (ILO) standards is important; and the full exclusion of public services is paramount.

"We are making it clear to the Commission that setting high and binding standards and bringing an end to secret investor tribunals are essential elements of any EU-US trade agreement. Labour MEPs are unequivocal on these issues and will continue to press for a progressive trade deal with strong social protections.

"This is within reach if the European Commission is prepared to take our concerns seriously."

The report will now be submitted to a vote of all MEPs on June 10. Once adopted, it will be officially sent to the European Commission, which conducts the negotiations on behalf of the EU and is accountable to the European Parliament. Negotiations for TTIP started in 2013 and are not expected to be concluded before 2017.

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