Labour MEPs will today call on Trade Commissioner nominee Cecilia Malmström to ensure public services including the NHS are excluded from trade agreements like TTIP, the EU-US trade deal.
Ms Malmström will be questioned by MEPs on the European Parliament's international trade committee this afternoon, at the start of the hearings of Commission nominees.
Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, Labour's European spokesperson on TTIP and CETA (the EU-Canada trade agreement), will today ask her:
"The inclusion of ratchet clauses and ISDS in the draft CETA agreement fuels fears that privatisation of public services in the EU could never be reversed, regardless of citizens democratic choices.
"Can you commit today that public services, including healthcare, social services, education, water and sanitation will be excluded from EU trade agreements, irrespectively of how these services are organised and financed?"
David Martin MEP, spokesperson on international trade for Labour's Group in the European Parliament, adds:
"Labour MEPs have already voted for environmental, health and employment legislation to be safeguarded from corporate legal challenges.
"We will continue to argue against ISDS in the EU-US trade agreement. It is not necessary between two countries with developed legal systems, and it has a worrying precedent of challenging health legislation."
ISDS gives foreign investors the ability to challenge EU or Member State legislation if they believe it violates their right to fair treatment under an EU investment agreement.
North West MEP Julie Ward said:
"I've been contacted by hundreds of people who have concerns about the TTIP. The position of Labour MEPs is clear - we will not support any agreement which puts British public services at risk and we do not support inclusion of the anti-democratic ISDS."