Yesterday, Cynical Optimist started a petition on Change.Org to persuade the UK Government, the European Council and the European Commission that the proposed TTIP trade agreement with the USA will be highly damaging to all EU countries and should not be proceeded with. You can help by signing the petition here.
The full text of the petition is reproduced here:
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
is an upcoming so-called ‘free trade’ agreement at the EU level, to be signed between the EU and the USA. Negotiations for this agreement (also known as TAFTA) are currently underway.
On the face of it, TTIP sounds like any other free trade area agreement – just like the one which currently exists between the 28 EU Member States. However, this particular deal is in fact an insidious piece of legislation which will cause horrendous damage to the UK
and to the other EU Member States.
TTIP will allow US corporations to sue the governments of EU Member Statesfor passing laws which might damage their profits. For example, if the UK government were to forbid a US energy company such as Exxon Mobil drilling rights in, say, Yorkshire – which has large shale formations – on the basis it would damage the environment (Yorkshire is home to two officially protected National Parks) then Exxon Mobil would be able to sue the UK for damages, to the tune of total expected profits from such a drilling operation.
This is, self-evidently, madness – a clear usurpation of the sovereignty of our government and the right of this country to decide its own future. With TTIP, we – along with the 27 other EU Member States – are surrendering our nation to the interests of American corporations.
Another massive problem with TTIP is that the deal will essentially ‘break open’ our existing public services to corporate buy-outs. Of course, the neoliberal agenda of UK governments since 1979 has already seen many of our public services sold off – usually at a huge loss
– but TTIP will allow US companies to bid for those that remain.
This includes the NHS. Yes, US corporations will have the absolute right under TTIP to buy out the National Health Service and take over health provision in the UK. The NHS, for all its flaws, is one of the best things about this country – TTIP surrenders it to the whims of wealthy individuals in America.
Of the five largest political parties in the United Kingdom, only the Greens are opposing TTIP – The Tories, New Labour, the Lib Dems and even UKIP are refusing to stand up for the interests of this country and the whole of the EU. It falls to us, the people, then to defend our public services and our natural resources from exploitation by greedy US business interests.
Sign this petition if you don’t want the UK and the EU as a whole to become another outpost of American corprate greed. Together, we can force the powerful institutions of the UK and EU to reconsider this insane and vastly irresponsible deal – but we must act quickly.
The European Commission
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Government of the United Kingdom
The European Council
Do Not Sign Up to TTIP
This so-called free trade deal is clearly a neoliberal scam to allow US corporations to sue EU Member States for justifiable regulations and to break open public services, such as the UK’s NHS, for acquisition by greedy American corporate interests.
The people of Europe do not want this. The people of Britain do not want this. We will not allow you to get away with this wholesale treachery.
Do not sign up to TTIP, or face the consequences.
At the time of writing, the petition currently has 836 signatories (EDIT: Now up to 1,765), with more signing every minute. In less than twenty-four hours, this is a significant achievement. A significant portion of that credit must go to the Politics UK Facebook page and to fellow blogger Another Angry Voice for sharing the petition. Many thanks to both.
Thanks also must go to everyone else who has signed and shared with their friends this very important issue. It is vital for the future of our country and for the EU as a whole that this deal is stopped. If you have not yet signed the petition, please take the time now to do so, and when the results for the European Elections come in and our new MEPs are elected, lets make sure that one of the first things to land on their desks is a flurry of messages calling for an end to this neoliberal experiment in idiocy and wholsesale economic treachery.
Together, we can change the world. Dramatic, I know, but true nonetheless.