Investor protection measure not dropped from negotiations
This article originally stated that the investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) had been dropped from negotiations altogether.
This is not the case. This part of the negotiation has only been delayed until the end of the process.
The most controversial element of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (a trade deal between the EU and US) has not been withdrawn from negotiations despite a wave of opposition in Britain and throughout Europe.
When talks resume next month, the proposed investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) will be discussed at the end of negotiations.
The move comes despite an unprecedented 150,000 objections in an EU-wide consultation exercise with 52,000 coming from Britain.
The ISDS would allow multinationals to override laws protecting the environment, consumer rights and food standards by allowing them to sue governments if they were not allowed to carry out certain actions by bypassing national courts and going to international arbitrators.
Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now (formerly World Development Movement) said in a statement:
“‘Investment protection’ is an innocuous sounding euphemism for corporations being able to bully governments behind closed doors for billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, so it’s little wonder that so many people across Europe are opposed to it. This public consultation has demonstrated once more the extent of TTIP’s unpopularity with European citizens."
The US cigarette firm Philip Morris is using existing ISDS agreements to try to prevent Australia, Uruguay and other governments taking measures to persuade people not to smoke.
“The consultation clearly shows that there is a huge scepticism about the ISDS instrument,” Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU Trade Commissioner, admitted in a statement yesterday. “We need to have an open and frank discussion about investment protection and ISDS in TTIP with EU governments, the European Parliament and civil society before launching any policy recommendations.”
John Hilary, executive director of War on Want, told the Independent: “The TTIP negotiations should be abandoned. The UK government has a case to answer, in that it has led the group of 14 EU governments demanding to keep these new anti-democratic powers in TTIP.”
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