Labour MEPs have proposed a resolution to the European Parliament international trade committee be debated next month on the ongoing negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
The resolution sets out demands from MEPs to the European Commission, including strong safeguards for workers; the full exclusion of all public services; a new binding clause to guarantee data privacy; and greater transparency.
The EU is negotiating on the behalf of European national governments with twenty-three national parties allied to the World Trade Organisation.
TiSA is aimed at reforming global trade in services, (including information technology, health, care services, and education and training equalisations among others) in place since 1995 through the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling, who is also Labourâ€™s European Parliament spokesperson on trade deals and Socialists and Democrats Group negotiator said:Â â€śMEPs have sent a clear message to the Commission negotiators and our governments that we want to see a radical shift in the ongoing TISA negotiations. Thereâ€™s much confusion in the public debate when it comes to trade agreements, and the Commissionâ€™s reluctance to engage meaningfully with the public until quite recently has not helped. But one thing that has been very clear is that citizens across the EU are not prepared to trade away the right of democratically elected representatives to regulate in the public interest whether that be rights at work, data privacy or the provision of public services. MEPs have represented their concerns.â€ť
She also added:Â â€śTrade in services is vital for the UK and the current rules are grossly outdated, as there was virtually no Internet trade back in 1995. So the status quo is not an option: we absolutely need a reform of the GATS, not just to boost our exports in services but also to close all the loopholes that unregulated e-commerce have opened. With this resolution, weâ€™re giving the Commission a checklist to be addressed in the negotiations in order to deliver a useful and fair deal, from a legally sound exclusion of all public services to the inclusion of a toolbox to eliminate social dumping. Ignoring this message from the European Parliament would throw the whole negotiations into danger.â€ť