Alyn addresses Spring Conference on Scotland's interests in TTIP

At the SNP Spring Conference 2015 Alyn Smith MEP and Chris Stephens from SNP Trade Union Group brought to Conference a motion addressing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which was passed by acclaim.

The motion clearly expresses the SNP’s dissatisfaction with the current content of TTIP and with the manner in which it is being negotiated. By passing the motion Conference reaffirmed SNP policy that the outcome of the TTIP talks must not alter the ability of democratically elected governments to organise public services in the way that best fits the needs of the Scottish people.

Since TTIP is currently being negotiated and will significantly change before it is completed Conference emphasised that a further more substantive position will be brought before a later Conference or National Assembly so that MEPs can be instructed to support or oppose the treaty on the basis of its eventual content.

Alyn’s speech to Conference:

Full text of motion that was passed by acclaim on Saturday 28th March 2015:

Scotland’s interests in Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Conference notes that the European Union (EU) and the United States have started negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), expresses concern over the lack of transparency in these negotiations and that the stated ambitions for TTIP go well beyond traditional goals of trade agreements and seek to encompass a wide spectrum of public policies. These include the harmonisation of regulatory standards; opening markets in the service sector which could potentially include public services such as health, social services and higher education; opening up of public procurement markets; and a massive expansion of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism allowing corporate investors to challenge state actions which they perceive as threatening their investments.

Conference expresses its strong dissatisfaction both with the process and content of TTIP proposals so far, reaffirms party policy that the outcome of these talks must not alter the ability of democratically elected national governments and parliaments to organise public services in the way that best fits their needs, must not undermine European standards in the fields of public health, social and employment rights, health and safety and the environment and other fields, must not prevent the development of "buy local" marketing, such as in the food sector and requests our MEPs to:

1) Work with the TUC, STUC, EPSU and PSI to raise awareness of the reality of TTIP and the impact it will have on Scotland;

2) Continue to promote the benefits of in – house delivery and work against any attempts by public bodies to avoid public procurement rules whilst outsourcing;

3) Raise awareness of TTIP with all our party members and make it a major part of our Westminster campaign for 2015 as part of our political education programme given that within the EU Council of Ministers Scotland is represented by a UK government that is actively seeking to undermine public provision of services; and

4) Bring forward a substantive position on TTIP to a later Conference or National Assembly so that Conference can instruct MEPs in whether to support, or not, the eventual Treaty on the basis of its actual eventual content.

Alyn Smith MEP

Chris Stephens