I voted in favour of the TTIP resolution on the understanding that care will be taken to ensure that the outcome of negotiations will not serve to further increase the economic divergence that is happening between different regions of the European Union and the eurozone.
If TTIP serves to further erode the competitive position of smes in different parts of the Union, such divergence could grow.
Claims have been made in favour of TTIP that it would promote greater trading opportunities for smes.
Such arguments are however backed by flimsy evidence.
It is much more likely that the greatest beneficiaries of TTIP will be the larger multinationals on both sides of the Atlantic.
It is therefore equally important that European negotiators ensure that private investors are not enabled under TTIP to access arbitration and legal decision that circumvent national and European legal jurisdictions, while having the power to reverse or compensate for national policy decisions taken by governments in the national interest.
My vote in favour is also conditioned by a belief that this point too is firmly covered in the terms that will continue to be set for the TTIP negotiating mandate.