Swansea West Labour MP Geraint Davies presented his Bill today to ensure parliamentary scrutiny of international trade agreements that will bind future governments for twenty years with powers for companies to sue governments in secret tribunals. The agreements also mean currently protected products like Cornish Pasties and Cumberland sausages will be able to be produced in Canada and U.S. in future.
The trade agreements include the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) Canadian-EU agreement Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The Bill states that if passed it would “require scrutiny of and enable amendments to international trade agreements, including investor state dispute settlements, by the European and UK Parliaments; and for connected purposes.”
Speaking after he presented his Bill Geraint Davies “The Canada & EU free trade agreement CETA to be ratified in 2016 will bind further governments as it will be in force for 20 years contains powers for companies to sue governments in secret tribunals.
“CETA would also mean British products like Cornish pasties and Cumberland sausages can be produced in Canada as the UK Government has chosen not to protect any of its Geographical Indicators (GIs) whilst those other countries have chosen to protect these, for example Brie & Champagne both remain protected.
“My Bill on the order paper would require parliamentary scrutiny of trade agreements including TTIP and CETA to protect our products, our democracy and our public finances.
“This Bill has cross-party backing with support from Conservative, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Lib Dem Members of Parliament all co-sponsoring the Bill. I will also be calling for a backbench debate on the floor of the House of Commons, so MPs can call on the Government to allow further scrutiny.
“CETA has been signed at the EU level but not ratified. The 25th Sept is the first anniversary of the agreement being completed and signed. This is expected to come to the UK Parliament no earlier than mid 2016. It has received no scrutiny in the UK Parliament, despite ushering the most controversial part of TTIP, ISDS because of the relationship between Canadian and US firms.
“CETA and TTIP also pose a significant danger for our climate and environment. CETA will provide a major opportunity for foreign energy and mining companies from Canada to step up fracking and other environmentally damaging activities in the UK and the EU. Energy and mining are omitted from the agreement’s sustainable development and trade chapter.
“If CETA goes ahead, what happens to TTIP may become irrelevant. The UK parliament along with EU state parliaments need to discuss and vote on this and other Trade agreements and my bill would allow scrutiny of all parts of these highly damaging agreements.”