Molly has given her full backing to a demonstration in Bristol against the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal between the EU and US. Molly met with campaigners from the Greater Bristol Alliance to wish them well in their action. The group have also been putting up billboards in the city’s Bear Pit to warn about the dangers of the trade deal.
Greens share the concerns of campaigners over TTIP, describing it as a ‘corporate charter’. Molly has seen the secret TTIP documents, but only after agreeing not to share any of the information with her constituents. She said:
“Being allowed to see some of the TTIP documents did not leave me with any sense of reassurance, either that the process of negotiating this trade deal is democratic, or that the negotiators are operating on behalf of citizens. It is a corporate discussion, not a democratic one.”
Concerns about TTIP focus around regulatory ‘harmonization’, where there are fears that hard-fought-for EU regulations on the environment, workers’ rights, public services and consumer standards will be harmonised down to US standards; the so-called 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.
The Great Bristol Alliance have also sought to raise concerns over TTIP in relation to tackling climate change. Speaking on behalf of the Alliance, Hilary Saunders commented:
“TTIP contains measures which enable multinational companies to sue governments whose policies limit their future profits. How can governments seek to control carbon emissions through taxing and penalising companies which produce or make heavy use of fossil fuels if this inevitably triggers compensation claims? It is worth noting that a fracking company is using a free trade agreement to challenge a fracking ban in Quebec.”
The Greater Bristol Alliance is seeking the support of the Bristol mayor, George Ferguson, in declaring Bristol a TTIP free zone. The action in Bristol comes as part of a national day of action against TTIP organised by campaign group 38 degrees. Campaigners will protest and collect signatures against TTIP at hundreds of locations across the South West and the rest of UK this Saturday.