‘The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist'[1. Usual Suspects 1991 film with Kevin Spacey .]. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is lurking silently in the wings. The negotiations are secret! TTIP if approved would be an agreement between Europe and America to cut tariffs and regulatory barriers to trade between the two countries. It has implications for the NHS, food and drink, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, fiancé and energy.
I see it as the march of American Imperialism, and we should be aware of the possible consequences. TTIP is harmful because of deregulation and it is anti-democratic.
At present because of EU regulation, there are virtually no genetically modified foods in supermarkets. America has little restriction and therefore 70% of all processed foods in America contain GM ingredients. Monsanto, a corporate behemoth, genetically modified rBGH to stimulate milk production in cows. It is legal in America but banned in the EU and most of the world. It has links to cancer.
TTIP allows investor companies to sue the government of a country where government policy causes the company a loss of profit but not in a court of law. TTIP comes with its own ‘arbitration tribunals’: created on an ad hoc basis and staffed by corporate lawyers. This is not equality before the law!
‘This can’t happen’ I hear you say. There are over 500 cases of companies suing nations around the world. Philip Morris sued Uruguay for $25 million when the government introduced public health anti-tobacco regulations. Just to underline the point, any compensation paid, will be from the taxpayer.
At present, Germany and France have put the brakes on TTIP. It has not gone away! Britain without Europe does not have the power nor do I believe a Boris or an Osbourne led Government have the will to resist the TTIP. The change in employment laws, the war on TU and the growth of zero-hours contracts are evidence of this.
There is more on TTIP, grab another cup of tea and watch the video at the end.
I am afraid of what further erosion of rights will occur if the Government is free to destroy social and employment rights democratically developed in EU. I am scared of the extensive powers that TTIP arrangements give to corporations such as ownership of rainwater. I am concerned that companies are having more say in our democracy than the people. I am worried about the motives of the Leave campaign and comforted by the range of political voices in the Remain camp. David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn, Caroline Lucas and the TUC have come together for Remain so it cannot be a conspiracy.
Part One here EU Referendum
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