There was hyper-activity in the Parliament this month in the lead up to the vote on TTIP. This was understandable, given the number of people who raised concerned with me and other MEPs directly on issues such as ISDS and protecting our public services as well as local SMEs wanting to expand their businesses across the Atlantic and create jobs.
The most important thing to remember is that whilst a vote was passed, it was not for for the final agreement but to give guidelines to the negotiators on what people want in ISDS.
Whilst I am supportive of international trade and how it can create growth and jobs in the UK, I voted to keep public services out of any future deal, to ensure that workers’ rights and environmental standards go up and not down, and to reject the idea of ISDS and secret tribunals that allow companies to take governments to court.
My Labour colleagues and I put forward a key amendment that ruled out the inclusion of ISDS in TTIP. Despite our efforts, this amendment did not gain majority support in the European Parliament, so I voted in line with my public pledge and voted against ISDS.
I have listened carefully and responded directly to the thousands of emails I have received from people. I have worked hard to ensure that this trade deal can have a positive impact on people’s lives in the West Midlands.
As I have said please be mindful, that the vote which took place this month wasn’t a decision on consenting to the final deal, it was about setting clear guidelines for the Commission. The final deal onTTIP will be sometime in the future. Rest assured, I will continue to review the deal on its merits and ensure that any TTIP does not endanger our public services, our standards or our democratic rights.