Updated: Thursday, 23rd November 2017 @ 12:04pm

Scores to take to Manchester streets in protest at 'secret' US-EU trade deal

Scores to take to Manchester streets in protest at 'secret' US-EU trade deal

| By Andrew Greaves

Hundreds of campaigners are expected to take to the streets of Manchester tomorrow to protest against an international trade deal they say will but put the NHS at risk and jeopardise democracy.

The campaigners, led by members of the non-party campaign group 38 Degrees Manchester, are meeting to talk to passers by, share information, and collect support for an petition against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is being negotiated secretively between the EU and USA. 

It includes anti-democratic provisions allowing multinational businesses to sue the government if British laws or regulations dent their profits.

Critics say this would expose the government to lawsuits if it tried to take privatised health services back into public ownership and could overturn local government, threatening councils with punitive penalties if they tried to set minimum standards for schools, contractors’ working conditions, coordinate healthcare, or turn down fracking applications.

More than 2.4million people have already signed the Europe-wide petition against the deal.

Stephen Pennells of Longsight, who is joining the day of action in Levenshulme, said: “I’m not just scared about the NHS and our council’s services, if TTIP goes through our politicians will become rubber-stamps for transnational corporations that owe loyalty to nowhere and think they should be above all laws and regulations, social, moral, national, and international.

“An essential part of TTIP is “Investor State Dispute Settlement”- decided by corporate lawyers working on commission. 

“We already have examples of corporate lawyers seeking billions from governments that dare to introduce anti-smoking campaigns, decide they don’t want nuclear power stations, respond to their electorate by refusing fracking applications, and turn down mining projects that will polute the environment with cyanide whilst displacing communities and removing mountains. 

“TTIP and ISDS will set international standards that will see the weakest go to the wall whilst international profiteers call the shots.”

Action is taking place between 11am and 3pm at the following locations:

Levenshulme: Public footpath next to station carpark, between Mellor Estate Agents and Indulge Dessert Cafe, Levenshulme Market, Stockport Road

City Centre: Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square

Didsbury: Didsbury Library, Wilmslow Road

Cheadle: Outside Sainsbury's, High St, Cheadle

Stockport: Near the new bridge, Merseyway Shopping Centre, Stockport

Eccles: The Eccles Cross, Regent Street, Eccles

Hazel Grove: Hazel Grove Library, Beech Avenue, Stockport,

Stalybridge: Outside Stalybridge Railway Station, Rassbottom Street, Stalybridge