David Martin, Labour MEP for Scotland and Socialists and Democrats Group spokesperson on international trade today welcomed the decision by the European Commission and European Council of their intention to publish the negotiation mandate for the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
David Martin MEP, Scotland’s senior MEP, said:
"This is not before time and not without significance. The Council has finally lifted the lid on its priorities for TTIP and can now be held to account. We can only get a good, balanced deal if all sides are transparent about their positions.
"We have been calling for more transparency in trade negotiations with third countries for years - the decision to make the negotiation mandate publicly available to citizens is long overdue.
"Labour MEPs have been clear we want ISDS (the investor-state dispute system) removed from the treaty and EU public services and standards to be protected. It is now time for national governments to explain the contents of the mandate which they unanimously approved.
“The European Commission is duty-bound to negotiate based on the mandate from the Council. If some Member States have really changed their minds on ISDS they need to change the mandate – or explain why ISDS is justified in an agreement with the United States.
"Labour MEPs will continue working to ensure public services including the NHS, social services and education are excluded from trade agreements like TTIP, and we will also work hard to make sure there is more transparency in the process."
"We need a broad, fact-based public debate on TTIP in Europe to explore the real chances and concerns surrounding the agreement. We have said for a long time that the publication of the negotiating mandate is fundamental for such a debate to take place. I therefore welcome the decision of the Council, which S&D MEPs have long called for. It is better late than never.”