November 2016 – Bilateral Investment Treaties

November 2016 – Bilateral Investment Treaties

Thank you for contacting me about bilateral investment treaties and EDM 642.  By practice, I do not sign Early Day Motions, however let me respond here on the issue raised.
I am pleased that as we leave the EU, Britain will be the most active and passionate advocate of free trade anywhere in the world.
The UK is signatory to over 90 bilateral investment treaties (BITs). The objective of BITs is to provide investors with fair and equitable treatment, protection against discriminatory action and a commitment not to expropriate investments without compensation. Fair, non-discriminatory and proportionate action taken by a state to protect human rights, development and the environment would not breach these agreements. The Government is not aware of any Investor-State Dispute Settlement claims made by UK investors under existing BITs that have led directly to or contributed towards a negative impact on any of these areas.
I welcome the Government’s determination to secure the best deals for Britain. Once we begin to negotiate trade agreements on our own terms, Parliament will play its crucial role in ensuring the Government secures the best possible outcomes for the whole of the UK. I believe these are positive steps on this issue.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.