Greens have said their worst fears about the on-going EU-US Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal have been confirmed following a leak of documents to Greenpeace. Molly Scott Cato, a longstanding critic of TTIP and MEP for South West England said:
“The leaked documents released this morning prove what the Green Group in the European Parliament has been arguing for several years: TTIP is not a trade treaty but a corporate power grab. What the US is seeking is nothing short of access to European markets on their terms; a completely unprecedented attempt by US corporations to overwhelm the will of European citizens.
“In areas as wide-ranging as the prohibition of GM food, the abolition of the EU process of chemical safety based on the precautionary principle, and the ban on cosmetic testing on animals the US demands go right to the heart of systems of environmental protection. Taken as a whole the documents prove our worst fears about a race to the bottom on environmental and social standards. They also indicate a bleak future for European farmers who will not be able to compete with the flood of poor quality US food imports.”
Greens say the leak has serious implications for democracy on both sides of the Atlantic. Molly commented:
“The most sinister aspect of the leak is the way the US is demanding that its corporations can know in advance proposals being made by European law makers and will be given particular status in our legislative process. This is a totally unacceptable threat to European democracy.”
The leaks will also inevitably be judged through the prism of the UK’s referendum debate. However, Greens have always said that TTIP is not a good reason to leave the EU. Molly said:
“It is important not to use these shocking revelations about TTIP as an argument in favour of the UK leaving the European Union. As President Obama made clear during his visit to Europe, he is keen to push this treaty through but he cannot do this without the agreement of the European Parliament and all 28 members of the EU. Also, if a majority of MEPs vote against it, we can stop it in its tracks. There is huge momentum against TTIP across Europe and 3.5 million EU citizens have signed a petition calling for the deal to be abandoned. Brexit would weaken the Stop TTIP campaign as it would lose the vital contribution of UK campaigners. Those using TTIP as an argument to leave the EU must be clear that the UK government would be seeking a trade treaty at least as bad as TTIP.”
“For those who are as shocked as I am about this morning’s revelations, our conclusion is that we must stand and fight together as Europeans against the authoritarian power of US corporations.”