What Stormont departments had to say on TTIP

The Detail asked for a statement from the Stormont departments that provided a "nil return" to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills' (BIS) request for feedback on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Department for the Economy (DFE):

“Given that focus of the Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) is on brokering a trade agreement between the EU and the USA a nil response from the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) was an appropriate response in light of DEL’s remit. The focus of TTIP is of more relevance to the remits of other NI departments who in turn responded to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills with expressions of interest in TTIP.”

Department of Justice (DoJ):

“The Department of Justice does not have responsibility for matters relating to trade and investment. It is, however, monitoring developments on the TTIP to assess any potential implications for the courts in Northern Ireland.”

Department for Communities (DfC)

“The Department of Social Development (DSD) and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) considered the document at the time it was circulated, and given its emphasis on trade and exports both Departments submitted a nil return."

Department of Finance (DoF):

"The Department of Finance considered the request but it was more appropriate for other Departments with a primary focus on trade and related matters. Indeed, other Departments have expressed an interest in TTIP and will have an opportunity to engage with BIS as appropriate going forward.”

Department of Health (DOH):

“As the TTIP is being negotiated by the European Commission on behalf of EU member states, the Department of Health has a limited role to play in influencing the outcome. Nevertheless, officials have been in regular contact with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of Health in England in order to monitor developments in relation to potential implications for Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland, and to establish the Departmental position with the Minister. It is through these channels that Departmental officials were reassured that the EU’s objective has been to preserve the right of each member state to choose whether or not to open markets or sectors as they see fit. Furthermore, the UK’s aim as communicated to the Department, has been to maintain commitments that are broadly in line with existing obligations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services, 1995. This is of course also a matter of public record, having been provided by Jane Ellison in response to a Parliamentary Question from Sammy Wilson on 14 July 2014.”

Department for Infrastructure spokesperson (DFI):

“While the main implications of TTIP are likely to be for businesses and exporters, the former Department for Regional Development recognised that it could have implications for long-term infrastructure planning, particularly in relation to the capacity and connectivity of key gateways and in particular ports. Given this, the Department had a number of high level discussions with the European Commission and colleagues in Department for Transport in Whitehall to determine early thinking on the potential implications of TTIP in this regard and how this should feed into long-term planning.”

Department of Education (DE):

Provided no response to The Detail.