The petition of residents of the UK,
Declares that the EU and the US should stop negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership; further that the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada should not be ratified; and further that an online petition on this matter was signed by 330 residents of Harborough.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to put pressure on the EU and its Member States to stop negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and not ratify the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Sir Edward Garnier, Official Report, 26 January 2016; Vol. 605, c. 240.]
Observations from the Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise (Anna Soubry):
The importance of free trade
The Government support trade liberalisation and continue to encourage EU efforts to negotiate a number of bilateral free trade agreements, including the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which was agreed last year and EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which is still under negotiation.
Increased trade and investment are two of the main drivers for growth, which is the best way to ensure British workers can enjoy better living standards. Businesses which export are more productive, resilient and pay higher wages.
CETA is an important step in delivering our trade agenda. It will deliver jobs and growth for the UK, with independent analysis suggesting the deal could be worth up to £1.3 billion per year to the UK economy. The negotiations for CETA have now ended. The European Commission recently announced the completion of the CETA legal review, and the text of the agreement is currently undergoing translation into all EU languages. More information about CETA, including the text of the agreement, is available on the Commission’s website: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policyin-focus/ceta/.
A trade and investment agreement between the EU and US is an opportunity to create the largest free trade area in the world. It would bring huge economic benefits on both sides of the Atlantic, increasing trade and investment, creating jobs, reducing prices and increasing choice for consumers. Independent analysis shows that an ambitious agreement could give an annual boost to the UK economy of as much as £10 billion each year. This translates to additional disposable income of about £400 per year for an average UK household. That is why we are pushing for a broad agreement that eliminates the vast majority of tariffs on trade between the two markets and reduces other unnecessary barriers to trade such as duplicate regulatory tests and customs delays.
There continues to be extensive consultation on TTIP. The European Commission has run four online public consultations to get stakeholder views on various elements of the deal. The Commission is holding regular meetings with an advisory group, as well as civil society groups throughout the negotiations.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) also holds regular meetings with organisations representing those with a particular interest in TTIP. These meetings help to inform the Government’s approach to the negotiations and include representatives from business representative bodies, the Trades Union Congress and non-governmental organisations such as War on Want and Friends of the Earth.
Further information about the TTIP negotiations is available on the gov.uk website: www.gov.uk/bis/ttip and the European Commission’s website: http://ec.europa. eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/.