Call for a ‘side-letter’ excluding UK-Canada ISDS in the Pacific trade deal

Call for a ‘side-letter’ excluding UK-Canada ISDS in the Pacific trade deal

Type: MP briefings
Date: 24 October 2023
Campaigns: Trade

The UK is joining the Pacific trade deal (CPTPP), tying us into the risk of corporate court cases brought by corporations from a whole bloc of countries – most dangerously by notoriously litigious Canadian firms.

We’ve brought together over 30 organisations and 50 experts from the UK and Canada to call for action against this risk.

The Pacific trade deal contains investor-state dispute settlement provisions, or ISDS, which enables fossil fuel companies to challenge climate action.

We’ve already pushed the government to exclude ISDS with Pacific deal members Australia and New Zealand by simply signing ‘side-letters’. By not doing the same with Canada, the UK is leaving the door open to costly lawsuits from particularly aggressive users of ISDS.

Canadian firms have a track record of 65 known cases. One company is suing the US for $15 billion in the largest fossil fuel case ever, after Biden cancelled the Keystone XL oil pipeline. And Canadian companies are the second biggest investors in English water companies, which could impact regulation of our troubled water sector.

There’s no technical barrier to the UK taking the same rational step it has done with Australia and New Zealand and signing a side-letter with Canada to exclude ISDS.

Download: Call for a Canada-UK ISDS Side-Letter in the Pacific trade deal