GREEN MEP WARNS OF TRADE DEAL THREAT TO NHS

Screen_Shot_2014_03_10_at_11.42.2312348cc1c1fec711Jean Lambert MEP has warned that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) damages democracy, threatens the future of the NHS and should be scrapped.

Speaking as negotiations between the European Commission and the US enter their fourth round in Brussels, Lambert said the free trade agreement could override important EU and UK laws which set standards and protect services – on issues such as food safety, data protection, health and the environment.

The London MEP was speaking at the launch of a joint report from her and Green MEP colleague Keith Taylor, which highlights some of the many dangers of the agreement to UK sovereignty.

The right to access public procurement – government spending, which could include the NHS – forms a major part of negotiations.

Transnational corporations from the US would have the right to enter the UK market – with ‘regulatory harmonisation’ between the EU and US companies leading to standards being watered down.

There is also the prospect that the UK government could be sued if it introduces regulations that might limit the future expected profit of services, making the liberalisation of services virtually irreversible.

Greens are the only major group in the European Parliament which currently opposes the trade deal.

Lambert said:

“These deals being made behind closed doors will have serious consequences for our rights – they will see democracy losing out to corporate power.

“We already know the Tory-Lib Dem coalition don’t care about our public services staying in public hands – but this deal could stop future governments reversing their damaging privatisation agenda.

“The deal threatens to open the NHS to US companies, and close the door on a future government putting patients back before profits.

“This trade deal is not about free trade, but a free-for-all, slashing regulations in favour of big business.

“Greens are the only party putting human rights before corporate rights. This deal must be scrapped.”

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Greens Report on Secret TTIP Treaty

 

ktOne of the UK’s Members of the European Parliament has released a report slamming a major trade deal being negotiated between the USA and the European Commission.

Keith Taylor, the Green Party MEP for South East England, is demanding that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) be scrapped. Mr Taylor, whose party is the only major group in the European Parliament to oppose the trade deal, has labelled the negotiations as ‘undemocratic’ and ‘a threat to the rights and protections we hold dear.’

Mr Taylor also accused other UK political parties of ‘cheerleading’ for the TTIP deal.  He revealed a leaked Lib Dem document in which the party advises candidates to attack Greens for being anti-jobs because of their stance against TTIP.

Mr Taylor’s report is released today as the fourth round of negotiations between the EU and the USA begin in Brussels.

The report claims that TTIP brings multiple threats to the sovereignty of the UK including:

 – The prospect of multinational companies suing the UK Government if laws are passed which threaten profitability.

– The watering down of environmental, health & safety and workplace regulations to achieve ‘harmonization’ with lower US standards.

  Mr Taylor said:

“Though huge chunks of this trade deal are shrouded in secrecy what we do know is that TTIP poses a very real threat to the quality of life of people in the UK.

It’s astounding that the Lib Dems, a party with the word ‘democrat’ in their name, are attacking those who want to protect Brits from a trade deal written by big business.

This deal, favoured by multinationals, threatens to slash regulations that protect our environment and health. But, most worryingly, it represents a serious threat to democracy in our country.  

Though our Government wants people to be kept in the dark about this dreadful deregulation charter I have no doubt that the movement against it is bound to  go from strength to strength.”

You can download a full copy of Keith Taylor’s Report here


Greens win suspension of trade deal with US over spying scandal

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EURO-MPs have backed Green demands for the immediate suspension of talks leading to a proposed new trade deal between the EU and the US after an investigation found ‘overwhelming evidence’ of a programme of mass surveillance of EU citizens by US security forces.

Members of the Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee said the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Programme (TTIP) should not be pursued – at least until the US agrees to change its law and halt all ‘data mining’ from ‘phone and Internet use in the EU.

The investigation, set up by the committee after whistleblower Edward Snowden lifted the lid on the US PRISM project to monitor and record EU citizens’ telephone and Internet usage, condemned PRISM, which it said ‘may entail a breach of EU ctizens’ fundamental rights’.

It calls for an end to all mass surveillance, observing that privacy is not a luxury, but a fundamental right in a free and democratic society.

But Greens called for EU action to go further, establishing a ‘Digital Declaration of Independence’, ensuring that no data is collected – without express permission – on any EU citizens’ Internet or ‘phone use, that the EU ends all co-operation with the US unless and until it changes its law to prohibit all mass surveillance, and that EU states offer asylum to Edward Snowden and all US ‘whistleblowers’ shedding light on US spying activities in the EU.

Jean Lambert, Green MEP and a member of the Civil Liberties Committee which conducted the investigation, said: “The US has behaved abominably here – and the EU must defend the rights of its citizens’ from this unwarranted attack on their basic human rights.

“More and more of us are using the Internet, and smartphones, to access basic goods and services, and we really must be able to do so without our privacy being breached.

“We must offer protection to everyone who sheds light on these activities, and end negotiations on TTIP, at least until the US has gauranteed such a blanket approach to hoovering up data will never be used again.”

The European Parliament as a whole will vote on the Green proposals when it considers the investigation report next month.