The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – what Nick and Nigel didn’t discuss, and neither will David and Ed.
Plans to create an EU-US single market will allow corporations to sue governments using secretive panels, bypassing courts and parliaments.
A discussion to be introduced by Katharina Boettge
The EU is currently negotiating a new trade agreement with the US, the TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement. This is a bilateral trade agreement, but the biggest ever negotiated and set to make the world’s biggest trading block. These negotiations are yet again kept confidential by the unelected European Commission. Some German Green MEPs have leaked a document outlining the proposed agreement, which suggests that the Commission is about to sign over Europe’s right to set regulations around environmental, health and safety, economic, cultural and social issues. The rights of the Corporations will stand above those of the citizen.
What will this mean? For example, if the EU bans a drug due to health risks but a US company has been selling this drug in the EU, the company can then sue the EU for any losses they might occur. In the UK the treaty will give American companies the right to bid for any Government contract, its bid based on the expectancy that the regulations here will be ‘harmonised’ with those of the US. If the Government tries to keep higher standards, or to keep the service provision under its own control, it is open to being sued. This has big implications for the NHS and for state education.
Katharina Boettge is the Green Party lead candidate for East Midlands in the European elections and the party’s spokesperson for social care