TTIP photo

MEPs Jean Lambert, Keith Taylor and Molly Scott Cato highlighting the potential risks of TTIP

As thousands of people are set to join a European day of action this Saturday against the TTIP trade deal between the EU and US [1], the Green Party is warning new evidence has emerged of the threats posed by the deal.

Greens in the European Parliament have been at the forefront of the campaign against TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) [1] and point to GMOs and dirty tar oil from Canada ‘leaching their way into the European market place’ as two examples of how dangerous TTIP would be.

The current EU Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, has reportedly said that the EU must ‘speed up GMO approvals in order to facilitate TTIP negotiations’. Meanwhile Canada is rumoured to have successfully used another trade agreement, with glaring similarities to TTIP – the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) – to water down regulations that would have discouraged the EU importing highly polluting tar sand crude oil [4]. Molly Scott Cato MEP, who along with other Greens, has been campaigning to scupper the TTIP deal, said:

TTIP poster by Finnbarr Martin

TTIP poster by Finnbarr Martin

“Our worst fears are happening. The push from agribusiness and Big Oil demonstrates that these trade deals are nothing more than corporate charters that will ride roughshod over Europe’s environmental protection rules at any and every opportunity.”

Molly will join demonstrators in Bristol this weekend as part of the Europe wide day of action against TTIP. She said:

“I welcome the European day of action against TTIP and urge people to join a protest [UPDATE August 2015: Link no longer available] nearest to them [1] to try and stop this juggernaut. It not only threatens hard-fought-for standards on the quality and safety of our food and the sources of our energy but will also open the doors to privatisation of public services and erode workers’ rights. Perhaps most worryingly, it would allow businesses to sue governments when they tried to put people or the environment ahead of profits.”

Sangeeta, Co-ordinator of the Bristol West Stop TTIP Action on Saturday [5] [UPDATE August 2015: Link no longer available] , said:

“I am delighted that our Green MEP Molly Scott Cato will be joining the march on Saturday. I personally feel the Greens have been taking a strong lead in opposing this dangerous trade deal both at home and in Europe.”  

Evidence that mounting pressure from campaigners is having an impact came yesterday as governments agreed to make the negotiating mandate public. However, Greens in the European Parliament want much greater transparency and have called for access to the negotiating documents so that the public are able to scrutinise the detail [6].

Notes

[1] Green concerns on TTIP focus around three main areas: regulatory harmonization which threatens hard-fought-for EU regulations on the environment, workers’ rights, public services and consumer standards; Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) which would give multinational corporations the right to sue governments over laws and regulations that affect their profits and the secrecy around the negotiations which have shut out public debate. For more information see: http://ttip2014.eu/

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