Latest response to constituents who have contacted Molly about the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

April 2016

I’d like to extend my thanks to you for previously getting in touch with me regarding the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). In the face of the upcoming EU referendum, I feel it is important to lay out why I believe that a vote to remain on 23rd June is our best chance at defeating this guarded trade deal.

As I outlined in this article for New Statesman at the end of last year, Cameron’s government has been a cheerleader for TTIP since its inception. We should be under no illusions as to who will be setting the agenda in a post-Brexit UK. With our broken electoral system it will not be the compassionate left; it will remain in the hands of a government that has already proposed a harmful trade deal with Ethiopia and a recent deal with Colombia, that demonstrates their eagerness for damaging trade deals above and beyond TTIP.

It’s also essential to note that in the event of Britain outside of the EU adopting the ‘Norwegian’ approach of joining the European Economic Area (EEA), which some top Brexiteers are advocating, we would still need to implement many of the changes in EU legislation that could result from passing TTIP, without any ability to influence its negotiation.

The fight against TTIP at the EU level is far from lost, with the next round of negotiations starting this month. My colleagues and I in the Greens-EFA group continue to champion the will of the people: over 3 million Europeans, including many thousands in the UK, have signed a European Citizens Initiative on the trade deal, and public pressure is still growing on both sides of the Atlantic. Our collective pressure has already watered down the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) proposal from the European Commission (though we still have further to go), and we’ve gained access to previously secret documents as we continue to tackle the backhand nature of the negotiations. Sam Lowe, Trade spokesperson for Friends of the Earth, also recognises this fact in his recent article for the Independent, saying:

“If we are to tackle the true global issues, such as climate change, it is not enough to plough a lone furrow. Indeed, if we want to truly put an end to TTIP, we can only do it as part of the EU in a Europe-wide movement.”

Ahead of Obama’s visit to the UK this month, we urged him to support EU citizens and small businesses over TTIP. You can keep up to date and get involved with our European campaign on TTIP at http://ttip2016.eu/.

We’ve recently launched a website laying out the Green case for a remain vote in the West Country at http://swgreenerin.org.uk/ where you can find myth-busters and positive reasons for EU membership beyond trade and finance, and a showcase of the EU at its best.

With the 13th round of negotiations in New York this week, there has never been a better time to apply increased pressure. The rise of scepticism in cagey free trade agreements on two of the largest consumer continents shows that the best place to be to push a progressive agenda – one focussed on creating a social Europe – is from within it.

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