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Former Attorney General to give evidence to Lords Committee investigating EU/US trade deal

The House of Lords Committee investigating the prospective trade deal between the EU and the US will this week take a close look at the benefits and risks of including foreign investment protection provisions in an agreement.

Tomorrow the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on External Affairs will hear from former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith QC as well as Dr Lauge Poulsen, Research Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, and Senior Research Fellow at University of London, SOAS. 

In a subsequent evidence session tomorrow, the Committee will also hear from Owen Tudor, Head of European Union and International Relations at the TUC, and Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer at the GMB.

The Committee is holding an inquiry to look at the benefits and risks, both to the EU and the UK, of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which was launched last year. This week it is exploring the issues around the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement provisions (ISDS) within an agreement. The Committee will also explore, with the witnesses from the TUC and GMB, how the agreement might affect jobs and labour standards. 

Questions the witnesses may face include:

  • What are the benefits and risks of including an ISDS mechanism within TTIP?
  • Is an ISDS mechanism between two developed economies with robust legal systems an anomaly, as has been suggested in written evidence?
  • To what extent have UK investors taken advantage of the ISDS mechanisms in existing UK and EU investment treaties?
  • What might be the risks to the UK of including ISDS provisions in TTIP? Could they interfere with the Government's ability to formulate public policy?
  • What lies behind concerns that the TTIP might lead to jobs being sent offshore?
  • What impact might a TTIP agreement have on labour standards in the US and EU?

The evidence sessions will take place at 9.30am and 10.30am on Thursday 27 February in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

The session will be webcast at and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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