Lancashire council opposes a Westminster Trade Deal
County council stands in opposition to an international trade agreement
What is the TTIP?
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is presented as an attempt to harmonise the regulatory conditions for trade between the US and the EU. The agreement is designed to open greater potential for trade in various business fields and make exchange of goods flow more easily. It is estimated that the deal would bolster the US economy by $90 billion and the EU’s economy by $120 billion
however many fear that it could allow corporations control over the NHS, which is why Lancashire County council released a statement backing the trade Union ‘Unite the Union’ more commonly referred to as Unite.
County Councillor Richard Newman-Thompson said “The TTIP would allow companies to challenge decisions by national governments, or local authorities, that they think may damage their business interests. Disputes would be heard in private by unelected experts, rather than public courts, which would make it impossible to reverse decisions, such as the privatisation of the NHS, without being sued by foreign investors.
It is vital that the UK government thinks again about the implications of this pernicious deal and acts to protect British public services and our ability to govern in the interests of the British people.”
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Who else opposes it?
Beyond the evidence given by various speakers on the impact of the TTIP over a million people have signed a petition to stop TTIP whilst other groups such as 38 degrees have multiple campaigns running to oppose the deal and their executive director David Babbs was part of a group to speak in front of the business, innovations and skills committee on November 25th:
Beyond these criticism a key worry relates to the use of Investor-state dispute settlement clauses which would allow companies to take legal action against nations for damaging their profits.
Has there been anything like this before?
there have been several deals with similar goals throughout modern history, the 1993 Australia - Hong Kong investment treaty and the north american free trade agreement (NAFTA). under NAFTA Eli-Lilly an american drug company launched a lawsuit against the Canadian government in order to try and change the nations patent laws. While under the investment treaty the Chinese branch of Philip Morris Tobacco launched multiple suits aginst the Australian government to try and have them repeal blank packaging laws in regards to tobacco.
The impact of protests
On November 25th the EU released a statement announcing greater transparency in regards to the discussions of TTIP, although releases of such information still require permission form the US negotiators which led Yannick Jadot a French MEP from the Green Party to refute that they were ‘anything new’ during a discussion on December 3rd: