MEP’s seem to have little real power, except as squabbling rubber stamps

I’m very much against the EU and even more against it’s willingness to sign us up to TTIP, so willingly sign any petition against the TTIP.

I signed two such, little realising that one was Labour and one was Tory inspired.

I was angered to find that Labour MEP’s had voted against an amendment and wrote to query the reason.

I have since received a response, which makes it clear that I was being played in a game of Party Politics.

I have put my re-response first:


Thank you for your response, it helped clarify the politics of what’s happening.
I was under the misapprehension that MEP’s were like MP’s, whereas your description makes them appear more as the House of Lords. The only query left is whether, or not, you can be guillotined, i.e. forced to pass legislation, with which you disagree.


Labour MEP Response

Subject: Response to your email on TTIP
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:46:29 +0000

Good afternoon,

On behalf of the Labour MEPs for the North West of England, thank you for your email and please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.

The European Parliament has been working on a resolution on the ongoing negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for the past number of months.

The European Parliament has no formal power while trade negotiations are ongoing, but it has the power to veto any trade deal once negotiations are concluded. In order to influence the TTIP negotiations at this stage, Labour MEPs have been pushing the European Parliament to adopt a text setting out clearly what we want to see in the final agreement and what we reject. This is one of the most significant means at our disposal to ensure that TTIP negotiators take the public’s concerns into account. The vote on this resolution took place on Wednesday 8 July.

The specific amendment you mentioned in your email regarding section 1 point b point vii was tabled by conservative MEPs to weaken a Labour amendment. We had managed to introduce a strong paragraph calling for a full exclusion of all public services from TTIP, however conservative MEPs were trying to remove a crucial element of this paragraph.

I was not prepared to accept this. Labour MEPs will not accept TTIP if it endangers in any way our public services, and we have made it clear that we will vote against the final deal if this is case. We therefore decided that we would vote against the European Parliament resolution if this conservative amendment was adopted.

Please remember that this vote is only to set the opinion of the European Parliament and it may be many more years before a TTIP agreement emerges. When this happens, MEPs will have to decide whether to ratify or to veto the deal. We will review the deal on its merits, and oppose any TTIP that endangers our public services, our standards or our democratic rights.

As Labour MEPs we are clear that our redlines are the protection of public services and a rejection of ISDS. We also need to ensure that TTIP increases workers’ rights and environmental standards.

Thank you again for your interest in this important issue.

Best wishes,

Theresa Griffin


Theresa Griffin
MEP for the North West of England
ASP 13 G 310
European Parliament
Rue Wiertz 60
B-1047 Brussels

Phone +32 228 45 271
Fax +32 228 49 271

LOW 7 T 67
European Parliament
1 av. du Président Robert Schuman
F-67000 Strasbourg

Phone +33 3881 75 271
Fax +33 3881 79 271

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