The position of the SNP on this proposed trade deal has been clear and consistent, and was reached democratically by the membership of our Party.
We support international trade and we recognise the economic benefits of trading with countries in the EU and around the world. Scotland is a proud trading nation, and in the past six years the SNP Scottish Government have delivered a 36% increase in the value of international exports. Supporting Scottish business to export and attracting direct foreign investment is good for Scottish businesses, for our economy, and most important, the people of Scotland.
Any economic benefits from TTIP, however, cannot be at the expense of vital public services. My SNP colleagues and I have real and legitimate concerns about a number of the proposed provisions in the trade agreement that would threaten the ability of elected governments in Europe to act and regulate in the public interest.
There must be an explicit exemption for the NHS on the face of the agreement and the Prime Minister should veto the agreement if there is no such exemption. My SNP colleagues and I have repeatedly pressed the Government for an explicit exemption from the agreement for the NHS. We have also voiced our concerns about the Investor State Dispute Settlement, and firmly believe that all disputes between investors and states should be settled in domestic courts.
These are the primary issues related to TTIP that require the UK Government’s action. I hope that the UK Government will pursue these concerns in negotiations on the trade deal, and I hope that this will be done transparently. Rest assured that my SNP colleagues and I will continue to pursue this issue in Parliament when the opportunity to do so arises.