12 July 2014
Members of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party marched through central London on Saturday July 12th in protest at TTIP – a new proposed bilateral trade deal between the EU and USA. The march went past Parliament, finishing at Europe House, the London offices of the European Parliament. Speeches were made by people including Green MEP Jean Lambert and Mark Thomas.
Known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP is one of the largest free trade and investment treaties. TTIP is currently being negotiated in secret and will involve the transfer of power from Governments to transnational corporations. What does this transfer of power mean? In essence, the TTIP will remove regulatory barriers to trade, including those that protect our environment, public services and animal welfare.
If the TTIP goes through, any corporation will have the power to sue countries who fail to remove regulations which prevent the unfettered and profitable operation of their business. This applies to a whole raft of regulations in areas as diverse as food safety, workers rights and environmental protection – regulations that protect our society. Under the deal food products include chemically washed poultry, livestock treated with growth hormones, and genetically modified crops – all allowed in the US – could be sold in the UK. TTIP also threatens public services like the NHS, as it will force privatisation.
The UK taxpayer would pick up the tab for any potential TTIP-backed corporate lawsuits against the UK government. However, the UK taxpayer has had no say in the TTIP, as this undemocratic deal is being negotiated in secret. Even elected parliamentarians will have only limited access to the document.
The deal between the EU and US is backed by the three main parties, which claim that removing tariffs will boost the European economy and create jobs, leaving the Greens the only parliamentary party against the deal.
“TTIP is massive threat to our democracy, our environment, animal welfare and public services” said Mark Dawes of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party. “I urge people to come together to stop it before it is too late,” he added.