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Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Volume 579: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2014

TTIP is our top trade policy priority, worth up to £10 billion a year for the UK. The EU-US summit two weeks ago re-emphasised political support for that agreement, and our ambition remains to conclude the deal next year, with the fifth negotiating round due to take place next month.

Will the Government use the options open to member states to exclude public services, most importantly the NHS, from the scope of the TTIP agreement?

The Prime Minister has already made it clear that part of our negotiating objective will be to make sure that, when it comes to health services, any provisions included in TTIP are broadly in line with our existing obligations under GATT. We do not envisage any significant change from the current position.

Does the Minister agree that there is a read-across between Ukraine and TTIP, with some seeing TTIP as an economic NATO? Binding the EU and the US together is bound to have political and geostrategic implications, and TTIP can become a symbol of Atlantic solidarity that may well check Russian imperialism.

I agree with my right hon. Friend about the symbolic as well as practical economic importance of the proposed deal. In practice, a successful transatlantic trade negotiation would establish global regulatory standards for business and trade on a transatlantic basis instead of the transatlantic powers having to copy others.