13 Comments

  1. A very helpful commentary. However, I am not convinced by the EU “overview” paper, that the Commission understands the seriousness of the concerns. The major issue is relegated to two pages at the end (3.5). The new disputes procedure appears more transparent, but the last Commission position paper (September) I saw still provided for compensation from Governments for loss of future commercial profits – the Government has the right to regulate, but the possibility of a claim for compensation may make it unrealistic to try. I still think these provisions need strengthening. Your point that the biggest threat is the UK Government itself is, of course, quite right!

  2. Chris Newdick

    Martin, the new ISDS is still flawed because it preserves a different system of legal redress for multinational corporations. Why protect MNCs from the law which regulates everyone else? Transparency does not deal with this, nor the chilling effect of the colossal damages awards to MNCs likely as the price for preserving public policy. Has the EU really understood this?

    • Paul Chandler

      ISDS works both ways. If you were a British company is working in the US would you be happy to rely on the US courts to arbitrate any dispute? These independent tribunals have been around for 50 years and they are essential to encouraging international trade.

      It’s got nothing to do with MNCs – anyone can use the system.

  3. Tamara Hervey

    Thanks, Stephen. I think you are right to distinguish between the Commission’s position paper, and the European Parliament’s position. But remember that the TTIP needs EP backing to be agreed (even if not technically legally – and this is disputed – definitely politically).

  4. Rob Parsons

    Schultz’s intervention is welcome, but he does not control the European Parliament, so what we have is only his opinion. If it comes to a vote, MEPs will be heavily leaned on by governments like the UK’s which welcome the privatisation of everything. As for the overall picture, there was a legal opinion outlining the substantial risks to the NHS as it stood in 2015, showing how the underlying architecture of TTIP is a threat to the NHS regardless of assurances. Has every objection in that document been met? http://www.unitetheunion.org/uploaded/documents/FINAL%20Legal%20implications%20of%20TTIP%20for%20the%20NHS%2012%20Feb%20201511-21864.pdf

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