A narrow majority of the European Parliament (1) this morning voted to postpone a debate on the EU-US TTIP trade negotiations*, following an initiative by centre-right political groups. The decision followed an announcement last night by the European Parliament president that he was postponing today's vote on this controversial issue.
Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans, who was scheduled to speak in this morning's debate, said:
"I voted to go ahead with the debate on TTIP because it is of such importance to Wales and to my constituents. Avoiding a public debate on TTIP because of internal disagreements in the other political groups further damages the reputation of the European Parliament.
"Denying MEPs the right to raise the legitimate concerns of their electorate in the parliament is a power game by the centre-right. They are wrong if they think that putting off these decisions will lessen peoples' concerns. On the contrary, it will increase the resolve of those campaigning against TTIP.
"There is consistent and growing opposition to the EU-US negotiations among people and organisations in Wales. I have had literally thousands of e mails from constituents asking me to vote against TTIP, which is exactly what I intended to do. Public pressure has caused some MEPs to reconsider their position, particularly on the flawed ISDS mechanism which allows big companies to challenge elected governments in private courts. I was a signatory to an amendment to scrap ISDS completely.
"Whilst disappointed that I could not speak on behalf of my constituents in the parliament today, I very much welcome the active campaign against TTIP in Wales. I urge people to keep lobbying to ensure we get the right result when we do eventually vote.
"For more information, people can get copies of my publication "TTIP & Wales" which outlines the concerns of many organisations on this trade deal via my website www.jillevans.net
Notes to Editors
- (1) 183 votes in favour; 181 against; 37 abstentions.
- TTIP - Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
- TTIP Booklet (How TTIP could affect Wales) launched yesterday. Can be viewed and downloaded online at http://www.jillevans.net/ttip&wales.pdf
- Welsh version: http://www.jillevans.net/ttip&chymru.pdf