Updated: Tuesday, 21st August 2018 @ 3:46pm

US-EU trade deals are 'biggest threat to democracy', says Manchester Green hopeful

US-EU trade deals are 'biggest threat to democracy', says Manchester Green hopeful

| By Nick Hughes

A Manchester Green Party candidate has spoken of the 'huge threat' posed to democracy in 'every nation in Europe' by Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnerships (TTIPs).

Parties must 'fight to oppose' TTIPs – trade deals arranged between the European Union and United States which aim to breakdown regulatory barriers for big businesses.

Negotiations began in February and although the implications affect all citizens of the EU, the European Commission held 119 meetings with corporations and their lobbyists behind closed doors without recording discussions.

Green Party candidate for Manchester Central, Kieran Turner-Dave warned: “This is not democracy, it’s selling domestic policy to the highest US bidder. TTIP is a threat to every nation in Europe.

“Our public sector services will be stripped to the bone in a corporate power grab of unprecedented proportions. Foreign tax-dodging corporations would decide domestic policy without being held accountable.”

The threat from TTIPs is through 'investor-to-state dispute settlements' (ISDSs) which would allow private companies to sue nations if they democratically elected to pass laws that a limit a corporation’s profit-making ability.

“ISDSs threaten every government in the EU, and would seek to replace representative democracy with unelected plutocracy,” said Mr Turner-Dave.

This would mean that if the government elected to pass legislation stopping the privatisation of the NHS; introduce a living wage; ban fracking or divest from fossil fuels, an American corporation could sue the government for loss of profits, winning damages paid for by the taxpayer.

Mr Turner-Dave’s said: “This would create an even more corrupt and ineffective Parliamentary system. MPs would be terrified to pass any legislation with the common good in mind, as they would be held to ransom by litigious US corporations.

“US corporate lobbyists are now basically blackmailing governments into only passing laws that increase profits for their mega-rich CEOs – to the detriment of taxpayers, voters, those who rely on the public sector and small & medium-sized businesses.”


EUROPE, UNITED: Protests have taken place all over the EU against TTIP, such as this demonstration in Berlin (©Stop TTIP, with thanks)

Figures from The Centre for Economic Policy Research have predicted that each EU citizen would only benefit by €36 per year from the TTIP.

“This is unsurprising, as the deal wasn’t constructed with the aim of benefiting the average EU citizen,” said Mr Turner-Dave.

“One million EU citizens have already signed a petition against TTIP, and we need to work together to ensure that it doesn’t pass.

“Even if Britain left the EU we’d still be bound to the conditions of TTIP for 20 years,” he added.

The Green Party are firmly against TTIPs and believe it threatens the nature of democracy, but also poses huge risks to the environment.

Mr Turner-Dave said: “We don’t want to see TTIP pass, as it is guaranteed to fuel further inequality and further undermine our public services, which are already under threat.

“TTIP is a huge threat to the environment. TTIP reverses all the hard work people are doing in the EU to combat climate change and build a sustainable future.”

All images courtesy of Stop TTIP, with thanks