MARK HUNTER MP
Dear Mr _____
Many thanks for contacting me regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) debate which took place In Parliament yesterday. After a largely well-informed and consensual debate, no vote took place. I fully agree that this important issue should be subject to close scrutiny in the UK Parliament: transparency on such matters is always important.
On balance, Liberal Democrats support the TTIP negotiations, which could be a once in a generation opportunity for the UK. Indeed, it is our party policy — agreed at Spring Conference last year – to ensure the success of TTIP and to pursue global and bilateral trade agreements.
TTIP is being designed to bring significant benefits to individuals and benefits by removing as many unnecessary barriers as possible, much in the same way as the EU Single Market has done over the past few decades.
First and foremost, it is important to realise that no trade or investment agreement has ever been negotiated by publishing in advance every piece of negotiating text to the general public and to do so would make any negotiation with other parties impossible. However, its important that the TTIP negotiations are as open as possible and that people get the chance to raise their concerns. The next formal negotiating round is about to get underway with even greater emphasis on transparency and scrutiny. The EU Trade Commissioner is making public more EU negotiating documents already available to MEPS and is classifying fewer documents as ‘restricted’.
MPs here in the UK have submitted many Parliamentary Questions about TTIP and there
have been two separate backbench business debates specifically on it. There has been a
House of Lords EU Committee Report on TTIP, as well as a House of Commons Scrutiny
Committee session which questioned the Minister responsible. TTIP was discussed in the
debate on the National Health Service Bill in November and the BIS Select Committee is
currently undertaking an inquiry into TTIP.
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If you have any letters from MPs please send your responses to stopTTIP.MCR@ gmail.com so we can add these to our website. Thanks!