Tuesday, 28 July 2015

I Wrote To My MP ...

Dear Mark Harper,

There follows a statement put out by War On Want that crystallises my

concerns about the TTIP trade agreement.


I have been following the debate in the U.S. for well over a year, so

was alerted to the secrecy surrounding the agreement, the lack of any

kind of public scrutiny, and the power TTIP gives to American

Corporations, which is particularly scary, as they have an appalling

record with regard to issues such as workers' rights, and the

protection of the environment. Bearing in mind that U.S. corporations

have the same rights under American law as individual citizens, I find

that giving them the right to sue the UK over any environmental, health

and safety , or employment legislation, enacted to protect UK citizens,

extremely worrying.


It does seem rather ironic that, when we are about to embark on a

referendum over sovereignty, that the loss of sovereignty that TTIP

will invoke is not under scrutiny. Frankly, if staying in the EU

involves signing up to this trade deal, I will vote for leaving, a

position I never thought to take.


What I am seeking reassurance about in particular is:Will the TTIP

agreement be able to be used by foreign nationals to challenge and

change operating practices within the UK, particularly those relating

to the NHS and workers' conditions of employment? Is the loss of 'one

million jobs' a possibility, however remote?

What is your take on the secrecy surrounding the TTIP negotiations? Do

you believe this secrecy works to the advantage or disadvantage of

democratic debate?


Will there be any opportunity at all for opposition to TTIP to be

effectively voiced and acted upon within and outside Parliament?

In conclusion, here's the piece put out by "War On Want" that alerted

me to the fact that the grave concerns of those of us working with

vulnerable communities, have crossed the Atlantic:


"When cancer patient Paul Giles heard that the EU-US trade deal known

as TTIP might affect health services in the UK, he travelled to

Brussels to find out more. But Paul’s questions were met with silence.

That’s because the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

(TTIP) is being negotiated behind closed doors. In fact, the EU has

confirmed that all key documents relating to the agreement will remain

closed to the public for 30 years. But why all the secrecy?

Governments and big business are relying on lack of public awareness in

order to rush through TTIP and seal the deal without too much

resistance. But what are they afraid of? They know there would be an

outcry if people knew what was in store.

If TTIP goes ahead it will cost at least one million jobs. It will pave

the way for the introduction of genetically modified food into Europe.

It will irreversibly extend the privatisation of key public services

such as the NHS. And it will give US corporations the power to sue the

UK and other states for loss of profits when these governments

introduce public policies designed to protect their citizens. "


Yours sincerely,


Mary Francis

No comments:

Post a Comment