Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, commenting on the government’s announcement today that MPs will have access to documents relating to EU-US Free Trade talks said:
“Today’s announcement that the government will be giving MPs access to TTIP documents is a triumph for all of us campaigning for more transparency in trade negotiations.
“Our colleagues in Brussels, Ireland and the US have of course had access to these documents for months. It was appalling that the only way members of parliament could find out what their own government was doing was to ask foreign legislators. It is gratifying the government has now given way and accepted the need for transparency – albeit in this desperately limited way.”
“The UK’s elected representatives must be able to scrutinise all trade deals. Particularly when as here they will severely impact the capacity of the government to legislate in the public interest and hence the lives of British people.
“It is now very unlikely that the TTIP deal will go through, but today’s announcement should mark the start of a new era of transparency in which government gives parliament its rightful scrutiny powers over all trade agreement negotiations the UK is involved in. This should include the EU-Canada Trade Agreement, CETA, which is at a far more advance stage than TTIP and presents similar dangers to our sovereignty.”