Decisions taken under Irish law in relation to developments such as Fracking or GMOs could be undermined if the proposal as part of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) according to Marian Harkin MEP.

Harkin stated this in the European Parliament when she questioned EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on TTIP negotiations.

“The Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) proposal is viewed with great concern by very many citizens – myself included. In 2012, 62 cases were initiated against Governments under ISDS, in 2013 there were 57 cases. This clearly indicates that the concerns of citizens are well founded and that threats to the decisions of sovereign Member States is real.”

Speaking directly to the Commissioner she stated that “In your response to a recent question I submitted to you, you replied that genuine regulatory action cannot be successfully challenged. Surely Commissioner our competition and internal market rules should ensure regulatory action by Member States is genuine. I believe that ISDS are not needed by two functioning and predictable legal systems.

“You also replied that any regulation passed in the public interest…. cannot be successfully challenged but who will decide what is in the public interest – an arbitration tribunal? That is simply not acceptable.

“Concerns ranging from GMOs to fracking have been legitimately raised in the context of ISDS and if the EU Commission ignores them they run the risk of failure for the entire agreement. The possibilities of a trade deal with the US are too important for that.”