This partnership would be the largest bilateral trade agreement in the world. Underlying the agreement is the opportunity to add £10 billion to our economy every year, which is almost £400 per household, meaning more jobs, more choice and reduced prices.
UK governments alone decide how public services, including the NHS, are run. This agreement does not change this and does not change UK laws or lower consumer, labour or environmental standards. This agreement is about helping our consumers and our businesses access new markets. Where mutually high standards can be recognised with the US they will be, but where this is not possible US businesses will have to raise their standards to meet ours, not the other way around.
There have been claims that investors could sue a government for losses and win if a government takes a decision in the wider public interest, whether on health, the environment or consumer safety. However, this is a misconception. It is important that businesses investing abroad are protected from discrimination and unfair treatment, but there is nothing to allow companies to undermine public policymaking. Extensive consultation has taken place and all provisions are being looked at carefully.
I can assure you the Government is committed to an NHS that is there for everyone who needs it, funded from general taxation and free at the point of use. TTIP will not affect how the NHS decides who is best to provide its services. Access to NHS services will continue to be based on patients' needs, not ability to pay. Local NHS commissioners will remain in charge of deciding who should provide services in the best interests of patients. The European Commission is following the UK's approach that is must always be for the UK to decide for itself whether or not to open up our public services to competition.
More documents relating to negotiations will be made available to MPs as the process continues and a wealth of material has already been published on the European Commission's website. UK Parliament, which has also had a number of opportunities to debate this agreement, will scrutinise the final agreement and ultimately holds the final power of veto.
Please be assured that I will continue to monitor this situation closely and will feed in constituents’ views where appropriate.
Thank you if you have taken the time to contact me on this issue.