Saturday, 4 October 2014

A look at the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Sidmouth Market Square: Saturday 11th Oct

There is increasing concern about how the TTIP agreement will impact services and business:
Futures Forum: "Sustainable Growth"... and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Futures Forum: Community hospitals in East Devon: consultation on NHS proposals begins

Private Eye has noted East Devon MP Hugo Swire's interest in the TTIP agreement:
Private Eye Hp Sauce: Trough choices for government junketeers
Hugo Swire stars in “Private Eye” as a supporter of the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Invesment Partnership which some see as a stealthy privatisation of the National Health Service | East Devon Alliance
“Swire’s Crossed” in Private Eye – “When Foreign Office Minion Hugo Swire addressed suits in London for a recent gala dinner he promised the UK Gov would promote TTIP – Swire wilfully missed out the f | ukgovernmentwatch

Next Saturday, campaigners will be making the case against the TTIP in Sidmouth's Market Square:

[They] are meeting on Saturday 11th October at Sidmouth Market Square. They're going to spread the word about one of the most dangerous trade deals you may never have heard of - the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - TTIP for short. [1]

It’s a deal between the US and the EU that would make privatisation of our services like the NHS and National Rail irreversible. It’ll also allow big corporations to sue our government if it makes changes to the law which affect businesses' profits - like raising the minimum wage. [2]

TTIP is being negotiated behind closed doors. But thanks to 38 Degrees members the secrecy around it has finally been lifted. We took to the streets in our thousands a few weeks ago. [3] And now, finally, the media and politicians have started to talk about it - openly. [4]

But now we need to take the fight against TTIP straight to the people who have the power to scupper it - our MEPs, the people who represent us in Europe.

The plan in the UK is simple. Thousands of 38 Degrees members will take to the streets again. Robert, Vernon and Deirdre will be meeting up and handing out leaflets in East Devon explaining MEPs' stances on TTIP; and telling people to get in touch with them and put them under pressure. Are you free to join them for an hour or two?

Are you free on Saturday 11th October?

the biggest threat to democracy you've never heard of

A trade agreement between the EU and the US currently under secret negotiation will have a profound impact upon our democracy, but it’s been overshadowed by more typical eurosceptic coverage in the media.


Last weekend, The Daily Mail published a guide to vacuum cleaners being removed from the shelves as a result of new EU regulations. Yesterday the Daily Express said that now the EU is coming for our kettles. These are typical eurosceptic tabloid stories that have had many people fired up; they’ve turned relatively niche issues into a mainstream panics. So why then has the wide-reaching impact of TTIP been relegated to niche issue status?

Given this grave threat to British democracy, why is TTIP so starkly absent from our media? Behind the multiple stories of bananas, hoovers and kettles lies the fear that the UK is no longer being ruled by its own government; that is the crux of what fuels many people’s euroscepticism. TTIP, which represents a fundamental shifting of power, not from one government to another, but away from government entirely, is absolutely a threat to sovereignty and yet it has so far been largely ignored.
New Statesman | TTIP: the biggest threat to democracy you've never heard of

Concerns have been expressed elsewhere in Devon:

"It's about profits not people" Crediton campaigners against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership treaty

By Mid Devon Gazette | Posted: September 03, 2014

Residents of Crediton gathered on Saturday to campaign about the treaty

CAMPAIGNERS in Crediton took to the streets on Saturday to protest against a controversial trade deal which could pose a serious threat to public services. A handful of activists met outside the Ship Inn on the High Street to raise public awareness about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) treaty which would create a single trade market incorporating Europe and the United States.

The proposed partnership has been called “the biggest free trade deal in history” and was discussed in a series of talks between government officials from both sides of the Atlantic in Virginia, USA last month.

Retired mental health worker Clive Losman was among those campaigning on Saturday. Mr Losman said: “The TTIP would potentially allow international corporations to buy public services and then sue the government if it affects their profits.” Mr Losman, who lives near Crediton, said: “It’s all about profits rather than people. I’m not an expert, I’m just a person sitting at home but I feel compelled to do something about it.”

A spokesperson for the left-wing action group War on Want said: “The main goal of the TTIP is to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential of profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The ‘barriers’ have been named as labour rights, food safety rules, regulations on the use of toxic chemicals, digital privacy laws and banking safeguards introduced to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

Supporters of the TTIP however see the agreement as an opportunity to stimulate economic growth and raise incomes in the EU and the US.

Mr Losman thinks otherwise. He said: “It will be a massive problem for the majority of society. I believe our government should not be under the control of multinational companies which is exactly what will happen if the treaty is passed.”

Mr Losman and other Crediton campaigners handed out leaflets to the public with more information about the treaty. The campaigners hoped the exercise would also gain more signatures for the petition to business secretary Vince Cable.

The petition titled, “Stop the British Government joining the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” was started by a member of campaigning action group 38 Degrees. So far over 12,000 individuals in the United Kingdom have signed the petition with the threat of further privatisation of the National Health Service frequently cited as a the main cause of concern.

"It's about profits not people" Crediton campaigners against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership treaty | Tiverton Mid Devon Gazette

No comments: