Why Staying In The EU Could Protect Us From US CorporationsIf you haven't heard of the major trade deal that has been negotiated in secret over the past few years between the US and Europe called the TTIP then you should read this article in the Telegraph.
The deal could be the most important piece of global legislation ever passed affecting all aspects of our lives and giving ultimate control over them to global corporations.
The Telegraph article discusses "Six reasons why the TTIP deal should scare you"
The 6 reasons in short are:
1. Public services.The NHS is in the firing line due to the TTIP deal. One of the main aims of TTIP is to open up Europe’s public health, education and water services to US companies. This could essentially mean the privatisation of the NHS.
2. Food Safety.TTIP’s ‘regulatory convergence’ agenda will seek to bring EU standards on food safety and the environment closer to those of the US. But US regulations are much less strict, with 70% of all processed foods sold in US supermarkets now containing genetically modified ingredients. By contrast, the EU allows virtually no GM foods. The US also has far laxer restrictions on the use of pesticides. It also uses growth hormones in its beef which are restricted in Europe due to links to cancer. US farmers have tried to have these restrictions lifted repeatedly in the past through the World Trade Organisation and it is likely that they will use TTIP to do so again.
3. Banking regulations.The UK, under the influence of the all-powerful City of London, is thought to be seeking a loosening of US banking regulations. America’s financial rules are tougher than ours. They were put into place after the financial crisis to directly curb the powers of bankers and avoid a similar crisis happening again. TTIP, it is feared, will remove those restrictions, effectively handing all those powers back to the bankers.
4. Privacy.An easing of data privacy laws, tracking on the Internet and a restriction of public access to pharmaceutical companies’ clinical trials are also thought to be on the cards. We already through out the ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) after a massive majority in the European Parliament voted in 2012 after a huge public backlash, against this attack on individual privacy in which (ISP's) Internet Service Providers would be required to monitor people’s online activity. The TTIP would bring these plans to monitor us back into action.
5. Employment and JobsThe EU has admitted that the TTIP will probably cause unemployment as jobs switch to the USA where labour standards and trade union rights are lower. It has even advised EU members to draw on European support funds to compensate for the expected unemployment.
6. Democracy.TTIP’s biggest threat to society is its inherent assault on democracy. One of the main aims of TTIP is the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits. In effect it means unelected transnational corporations can dictate the policies of democratically elected governments.
Luckily for us, our saviour might be our cross channel EU partner, France.
Due to the upcoming French Presidential elections and the huge outcry over the TTIP deal, whose details were only uncovered due to hacktivists like Wikipedia,
France is considering blocking the deal and if they do it means the EU won't be able to adopt it as it requires all members to sign up to it for it to pass.
France's main issues are that new powers granted to US companies could alter our existing laws over employment, farmers, workers rights and soveingty over the legal system. When US corporations can sue a government because their laws are "too restrictive" on their business then we are in dangerous territory.
As an article in the Independent states:
President Hollande has said he will "never accept" the deal in its current guise because of the rules it enforces on France and the rest of Europe - particularly in relation to farming and culture – claiming they are too friendly to US business.
“We will never accept questioning essential principles for our agriculture, our culture and for the reciprocity of access to public [procurement] markets,” Hollande is reported as saying at a meeting of left-wing politicians in Paris. “At this stage [of the talks] France says ‘No.'”
Personally I hope France does block it and if we left Europe there would be no doubt in my mind a Tory or Blairite government would sign the UK up to the TTIP on its own outside the EU.
This could be a major reason to vote to stay IN the EU.
If our own government won't protect us from US corporations then at least if we are part of the EU some more socially conscious nations like France could.
Read up on the TTIP here:
What is the TTIP?
Why France may block the TTIP
Will the TTIP deal affect your vote in the EU referendum?
Can you trust the UK government to protect our NHS, health and safety, privacy and workers rights if they were outside the EU or would they sign up to the TTIP ASAP?
Let me know your thoughts.