With any new trade deal, people are rightly going to want to be assured about the potential impact of the agreement. The European Commission has been clear that they are not seeking to privatise publically run services through this or any other trade agreement, and that they will uphold our already high European standards of environmental, health and consumer protection. The balance between public and private provision of public services should and will continue to remain with national governments, regardless of the progress of the TTIP.
It is important that the negotiations for this Agreement are as transparent as possible. The European Ombudsman has welcomed the announcement by the European Parliament President that the ongoing negotiations will be more transparent and open. I am pleased that the EU Trade Commissioner also recently announced a public consultation on the investment provisions of a future TTIP deal.
Once the negotiations for the TTIP are complete, the deal will be presented to the Council and the European Parliament and both must agree on the outcome. It will likely also need to be separately ratified by the national parliaments of all 28 EU countries – no mean feat.