As a day of action takes place this Saturday in opposition to the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal, Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has described the negotiations around the deal as a ‘stitch up’. Following her experiences in the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament this week, Dr Scott Cato has accused larger groups in the parliament of backroom deals, lack of negotiations on compromises, unfair voting and stifling any criticism of the deal. She said:
“Greens had drawn up a series of amendments but were not allowed to vote on them. So-called “compromise” amendments were put forward by the larger political groups and were agreed without including all the political groups, contrary to usual practice. The voting was then fixed in such a way that forced our amendments to fall.
Aside from our proposal that negotiations on TTIP should be stopped altogether, and that agricultural products should be taken off the table – which we knew would not be accepted – we worked with other anti-TTIP groups to produce our own compromise amendments. These included rejecting the anti-democratic ISDS clause ; no easier entry for GMO products like US beet sugar into European markets and food chains, as well as several amendments on preserving high EU standards and public authorities’ right to legislate in the public interest. One might imagine that amendments working for the common good of farmers and citizens in Europe might reach consensus. Sadly, many in the larger political groups saw fit to reject or simply not vote on these amendments.”
Dr Scott Cato says she is delighted that the civil society movement against TTIP is so strong and fully supports this weekend’s day of action. She concluded:
“It is quite clear from the discussions I have witnessed around TTIP that civil society and public opinion are not being listened to. Citizens’ voices are being excluded and those who claim to represent them are just not listening. This is why it is so critical that those opposed to this toxic deal continue to protest all the more loudly”.
 The Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) would give multinational corporations the right to sue governments over laws and regulations that impacted on their profits. More info