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Trade Agreements: Dispute Resolution

Question for Department for International Trade

UIN 71671, tabled on 9 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to help suspend Investor-State dispute settlement cases against Governments in countries that are affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

Answered on

17 July 2020

The United Kingdom has already negotiated investment agreements with Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions with over 90 trading partners. The precise details of any future Free Trade Agreement (FTAs) are a matter for formal negotiations, and we would not seek to pre-empt these discussions.

HM Government recognises the important role that investment protections with ISDS can play in protecting British investors abroad – including pensioners across the country through their pension funds, and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Where ISDS is included in future agreements, we will seek to ensure fair outcomes of claims and high ethical standards for arbitrators, with increased transparency and efficiency of proceedings.

The conduct of ISDS cases is a matter for the parties involved in the dispute and the arbitral tribunal responsible for the proceedings under the relevant international investment agreement. HM Government is not a party to any such proceedings.

Answered by

Department for International Trade