The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed trade deal between the EU and the USA, which is already proving to be controversial – although I suspect it to still be years away from coming to fruition. Sadly, there is a lot of misinformation being put out about my position – including by 38 Degrees. I am therefore publishing my views here on my website.
TTIP is a very complex proposal. It is vital that we have a thorough, public debate on this issue; at present, MEPs do not have access to the full text. To an extent, we are therefore running blind.
As a Party, UKIP is committed to the principle that there must be an exemption from the agreement for the NHS. I recognise the importance of this issue to many local issues, and I have submitted two written questions to the European Commission about the proposal. I have raised the issue of the Investor-State Dispute Mechanisms and sought clarification over the proposed power for multinational corporations to take legal action against national governments. Both of these, if they are as reported in the press, would be unacceptable in my view.
As a UKIP MEP I have other concerns; the EU Trade Commissioner negotiates this deal on behalf of all 28 countries of the European Union. They may well not look out for British interests in areas where we are traditionally strong; a one-size-fits-all deal won’t work.
I understand the benefits that a genuine free trade agreement between the UK and the US could offer (and indeed, so could a free trade deal between the UK and many other countries including our forgotten Commonwealth partners). However, I am far from convinced that TTIP will be in our national interests.