Thursday 1 May 2014 saw Defend our NHS York host a rousing meeting with Linda Kaucher from the Stop TTIP Champaign. Linda explained the implications of the US EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Here is a rundown of how this secret trade deal will affect every one of us, and what we can do about it, from York People’s Assembly member Emily.
TTIP will open up our NHS to US medical corporations buying up our health for profit. With the already liberalised NHS we will be powerless to stop the US privatising our health system. TTIP will make privatisation almost irreversible as the agreement will be binding unless all parties agree to reverse the affects (considering the parties it will be a cold day in hell when that happens).
Bend Over for the Bankers
It is little wonder the City of London is one of the greatest advocates of TTIP when it is speculated there will be further deregulation of our banking systems. The US will adopt our weaker financial regulations, meaning crashes such as 2007/8 will be far more likely and frequent exposing us to greedy bankers gambling with our financial futures. Deregulation will mean food speculation will be back on the table together with reducing tax on financial transactions. This will effectively give the City of London carte blanche.
Forget Fracking Off
No matter how many Little Englanders find their inner activist, we will be hard pushed to keep the US from pursuing fracking in the UK. Due to regulatory convergence surrounding environmental protection laws the flood gates will be flung wide open to fracking in the UK. Thanks to investor protection clauses within TTIP, companies will be able to sue the government for loss of earnings should they step in to protect the environment from fracking. Investor protection together with harmonisation of regulations ties the governments’ hands on future regulation, meaning health and safety, environmental and banking regulations will be set for the life of TTIP at the lowest possible level.
EU food regulations such as GM food-labelling laws could be eroded to US levels. We could see hormone treated beef and chlorine dipped chicken being sold in the EU. Again should we seek to improve our food regulations corporations could sue our government for loss of profits for investors.
There have been many deals such as TTIP peddled in the shadows. The US has been attempting this for the last 20 years and we have resisted. Linda Kaucher gave us a rundown of what we can do:
- Write to your MP – let them know you are against TTIP;
- Tell your MEP to vote against TTIP;
- Make TTIP an election issue. We need to blow the top on this sordid little deal. We need everyone talking about it.
Most of all we need to get the word out we need everyone to know what TTIP is, how it will affect them and how to stop it. It has been done and we can do it again.