Friday, 9 October 2015

TTIP represents a threat to the freedoms underpinning our democracy.

Green Party members in North Staffordshire are set to take part in a month of action in protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

TTIP is a proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, the negotiations to set it up have been shrouded in secrecy with parliamentarians across the EU being given only limited information as to what it will entail.

Campaigners fear it may include provisions to allow large corporations to sue governments for bringing in legislation that hit their profits.

Speaking in 2014 Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said TTIP would 'blow apart the power of our democratic decision making,' she went on to say that it represented a 'huge threat to our hard fought for standards for the quality and safety of our food, the sources of our energy, worker's rights and our privacy.'

Green Party MEPs have also spoken out against TTIP, Jean Lambert said it was a 'myth' that the partnership would create more jobs and that there was no guarantee those it did create would pay a living wage.

Keith Taylor said the deal was 'favoured' by large corporations because it would 'slash regulations that protect our environment and health' and that it represented 'a serious threat to democracy in our country.'

Concern has also been expressed about the impact of TTIP by the Centre for Food Safety, the Royal College of Nursing and the European Students Union, with regard, respectively, to food safety, large American companies gaining access to the NHS and education funding.

Molly Scott Cato MEP, the Green Party spokesperson on financial issues said 'the proposal to protect corporate interests against the democratic interests of citizens must not be allowed to stand.'

She added that 'The Greens are totally opposed to TTIP, which threatens to undermine our ability to protect the high standards of environmental protection, employment rights and animal welfare we have come to take for granted.'

Adam Colclough, Campaigns Coordinator for North Staffs Green Party said that TTIP 'represents a serious threat to the fundamental freedoms that underpin our democracy; putting the profits of large corporations ahead of the interests of individuals and communities in a way that is potentially disastrous.'

He added that it was 'scandalous that the public and parliamentarians across Europe are being kept in the dark over what the agreement will contain, if it doesn't operate openly the democratic process does not work.

Green Party members are going to be taking part in a range of campaign activities over the coming month including holding a protest in a local town centre to raise public awareness about TTIP.

Adam Colclough said ' We want to make people aware of the impact TTIP could have on their lives and to coordinate local protest activity.'

He added that ' the rights guaranteeing our freedom are something we hold in trust for our children and grandchildren, we should not allow them to be diluted in the name of big business making a profit.'

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