On Thursday 15 January, MPs took part in a debate on a motion relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee.
The debate began at 2.31pm and was opened by Mr Geraint Davies, Labour and Co-operative MP for Swansea West. Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Matthew Hancock, responded on behalf of the Government.
Watch the debate and read the transcript
Text of the Motion
MPs debated the following motion:
'That this House believes that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and any associated investor-state dispute settlement provisions should be subject to scrutiny in the European Parliament and the UK Parliament.'
An amendment to this motion had been tabled in the name of Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton, Pavilion, but was not selected:
'Line 1, leave out from ‘Partnership’ to end and add ‘(TTIP) has still not received adequate scrutiny by either the European Parliament or the UK Parliament; welcomes the growing public and political concern over the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), explicitly designed to give private companies and investors new rights to sue governments; regrets that the European Commission rejected the European Citizens’ Petition on TTIP, now signed by over 1.2 million people including over 200,000 people in the UK; notes the risk of job losses of around 1.3 million in the EU under the ambitious scenario for TTIP preferred by EU negotiators, according to official figures; considers that TTIP and its investor protection provisions pose an unacceptable threat to the NHS and the ability of future governments to repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and reverse creeping privatisation in the public health sector; further believes that TTIP and the ISDS undermine democratic law-making in the public interest across a range of areas from workers’ rights, consumer protection and education policy to food standards, animal welfare and environmental protection; calls for the complete removal from the agreement of all investor-state dispute settlement provisions; and further calls on the Government to push for talks on TTIP to be frozen in their entirety.'
Backbench Business Committee
The Backbench Business Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays at 3pm to consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament on any subject, including those raised in e-petitions or national campaigns.
An MP must make a representation before the Committee for an e-petition or petition to be debated; e-petitions exceeding the Government's 100,000 signature threshold are not automatically allocated backbench time.
The Committee then has to decide how to allocate the limited Parliamentary time it has at its disposal. The Committee's meetings are always conducted in public and can be watched on Parliament TV.