British MPs condemn "unacceptable" TTIP threat to environment

10 March 2015 - 12:00am
Press release

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) risks starting an “unacceptable” race to the bottom in environmental regulations, a parliamentary committee warned today.

 

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) made the claim in the report of its investigation into the potential impact of the trade treaty being negotiated between the EU and USA.

The EAC warned that TTIP's regulatory cooperation agenda threatens to undermine the ‘precautionary principle' that is central to protecting the environment and public health in Europe.

War on Want has repeatedly warned of the threat posed by the deregulation agenda at the heart of TTIP.

John Hilary, War on Want's Executive Director, who gave evidence to the EAC, said: “MPs are rightly alarmed at the grave threats that TTIP poses to the environment and to public health. The EU and US want a deal that puts corporate profit ahead of people and planet, and the UK government is cheering them on.

“Now is the time for all political parties to listen to the British people and say no to TTIP.”

The all-party committee highlighted the threat posed by the controversial new power to be given to US companies to sue the UK and other European governments under a new investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in TTIP.

The EAC report notes that ISDS will render “meaningless” any right to regulate now enjoyed by EU member states, and concludes (p19): “A compelling case for the inclusion of an ISDS in TTIP has not yet been made.”

The committee also addressed TTIP's impact on the peoples of the global South, and noted the many studies that predict serious losses for the poorest countries of Africa and Asia as a result of the agreement.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

For further information and interviews, contact John Hilary on +44 7983 550727 or Mark Dearn on +44 7804 289680.

The EAC report can be downloaded from its website here.

Over 1.5 million people from across Europe have signed the European Citizens' Initiative against TTIP and CETA, including almost quarter of a million from the UK; see here.

Despite the EU's much-trumpeted attempts to increase transparency, the EAC criticised the continuing lack of transparency as a block to understanding whether the risks to environmental safeguards will be dealt with or not.

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