Secret TTIP document shows plans for national 'reading rooms'

5 November 2015 - 12:00am
News

Internal documents obtained by War on Want reveal EU plans for national 'reading rooms' to restrict access to texts relating to the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The reading rooms have been proposed as a replacement to the email updates previously sent out from Brussels, in an attempt to stop the leaks that have to date been the only source of inside information on TTIP talks. 

The documents make clear that if there was to be a leak in an EU member state it would no longer be allowed to host a reading room, with a subsequent investigation launched into leak sources: "If disclosure can be traced and attributed to a Member State, it is understood that it will be disconnected from distribution and would revert to the Brussels reading room."

The modalities for the reading rooms are described in the excerpt attached below.

No British MPs have access to TTIP texts, and the UK government chose not to receive email updates. It now claims it may open up a reading room in the UK, although British MPs would be subject to strict conditions when accessing texts, including signing a disclaimer, leaving behind all electronic devices and being accompanied while reading texts.

War on Want trade campaigner Mark Dearn said: "This is yet another bogus claim from the UK government that it supports transparency in TTIP. In reality, no government in Europe has been more secretive.

"British MPs have been blocked from having access to key TTIP texts, while other European governments have granted such access to their parliamentarians. If the UK government does now bow to pressure and open a reading room, it must guarantee that MPs will have unrestricted access to all TTIP texts without exception, whether from the EU or USA."

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