Committee Calls for TTIP Assurances to Protect Public Services


A Holyrood committee has called for assurances that the NHS and other public services in Scotland would not be adversely affected by a trade deal being negotiated between the European Union and USA.

In a report published today, the European and External Relations Committee has backed a call from the Scottish Government for a ‘double lock’ to ensure that Holyrood would not lose authority for how public bodies, such as the NHS, should operate. The committee’s report highlights “continuing public concern” about the negotiating process. 

The report also expresses “reservations about some of the assumptions relating to economic growth that have been used in support of the agreement”, suggesting that the deal might impact negatively on some sectors of the economy. 

Committee Convener Christina McKelvie MSP

“This inquiry has demonstrated to us how distant people in Scotland can feel from the decision makers in Brussels. Our inquiry has allowed Scottish voices and Scottish concerns to be heard on an issue of vital importance to the future of our country. We hope that this report will help those voices to be heard loud and clear by the UK Government and the European Union in conducting these negotiations.”

The report’s key conclusions included:

  • The lack of transparency involved in the negotiations has contributed to significant public distrust in the agreement.
  • In light of the lack of clarity in relation to particular proposals – notably with regards to public services – the committee has called on the European Commission to make as much information as possible available during the remaining negotiations.
  • A recognition of the need for strong mechanisms and structures to ensure that the Scottish Government is consulted and kept informed of developments of relevance to devolved policy areas.
  • In relation to future trade negotiations, the Committee has called on the European Commission to conduct them with a high degree of transparency to ensure public confidence is maintained in relation to the process of concluding agreements.
  • The Committee was surprised by the lack of knowledge, understanding or engagement of some business organisations in Scotland on TTIP. It considers that it is important for business organisations to understand the implications of a trade agreement with the US and encourages the UK Government, the Scottish Government and the enterprise agencies to raise awareness of TTIP among the business community.
  • The protection of public services in Scotland, particularly NHS Scotland, was a key concern of those giving evidence to the Committee.
  • The Committee encourages the UK Government and the European Commission to consider the Scottish Government’s suggestion that a “double lock” be developed to secure public trust and confidence in the TTIP negotiations.


Contact information

Media information

Committee information

Public information

  • Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
  • [email protected]
  • Text 07786 209 888
  • Ask a question online through live chat
  • We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

Keep up to date with us on:

keep up to date with what's happening in Parliament on Facebook Follow the Scottish Parliament on Twitter @ScotParl keep up to date with what's 
happening in Parliament on YouTube

This website is using cookies.
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.