Labour MEPs secure massive support from European social democrats against private tribunals in trade deals.
Yesterday the Socialist and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament adopted with near unanimity a very strong position paper on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), opposing the inclusion of the controversial mechanism in trade deals with both the US (TTIP) and Canada (CETA).
The proposal adopted today was drafted by a working group chaired by David Martin MEP, S&D Group coordinator on trade issues. Significant amendments proposed by Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, Labour's European spokesperson on TTIP and CETA, and signed by Clare Moody MEP, were supported by the S&D parliamentary group by 78 votes to five.
Labour MEP for the South West, Clare Moody, said:
"Private tribunals have always been a red line in any trade deal for Labour MEPs and we have worked hard to ensure that position was similarly adopted by the Socialists and Democrats.
"Labour MEPs will continue to use every available opportunity to influence the content of both TTIP and CETA, to ensure the full and unambiguous exclusion of public services, like the NHS, prevent any lowering of consumer, employment or environmental standards, and to oppose ISDS.
"The decision in the Socialist Group shows the strength of our position and the influence that Labour MEPs can have. It is only Labour MEPs that are delivering big decisions in the European Parliament."
David Martin MEP said:
"We have always been opposed to ISDS as a group, although we didn't have a chance to adopt a formal decision on this matter since the last European elections in 2014.
"In doing so today, we are responding to the thousands of constituents and the many civil society organisations that have asked us to clarify our position."
Jude Kirton-Darling MEP said:
"This decision by the European Socialists and Democrats Group will prove to be a real game changer not only in the negotiations between the EU and the US but also with respect to the ratification of the Canada agreement.
"The European Commission and Europe's Conservatives will need our support in the end if they want to see TTIP through. Today, we are sending them a loud and clear message we can only contemplate support if our conditions are met. One such condition is we do not accept the need to have private tribunals in TTIP.”