Today I spoke in a debate around the TTIP proposals, calling for them to come under full parliamentary scrutiny in the UK and European parliaments before being implemented.
Currently all negotiations are taking place in private. Elected members form any tier of government have found it incredibly hard to acquire clear information about the discussions.
The concerns of many people in Scotland on the issue of TTIP and NHS privatisation could easily be alleviated by an explicit opt-out for the NHS in the text of the agreement. As yet this has not been forthcoming. The SNP will continue to engage and advocate for NHS Scotland to receive adequate protection.
The Investor State Dispute Settlement also raises serious concerns. The settlement could see the authority of our government undermined by exposing it to legal action from private investors.
It is unclear to me why an entirely separate legal mechanism is required to protect investors form national governments
I have no objection in principle to free trade agreements – but not free trade at any cost.