More than 20 people from a range of organizations, including York People’s Assembly, ignored the sunny weather to gather at the Friends’ Meeting House in York at 10:30 on Saturday 18 April and hear about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and discuss the issues surrounding it with three people who had attended a recent protest in Brussels outside the European Parliament. At 11:20 we had the pleasure of Richard Corbett MEP, one of the two Labour Members of the European Parliament for Yorkshire & the Humber describe the history and background of TTIP followed by answering a wide range of questions for the next seventy minutes.
Given that an earlier event about TTIP on 20 February had seen the two Members of Parliament for York (Hugh Bayley MP and Julian Sturdy MP) have rings run around them by of John Hilary of War on Want, it was a treat not to be talked down to and actually thanked for showing concern about a supposed trade treaty that could have a devastating effect on British public services and democracy.
Richard encouraged us to keep up the pressure on Brussels and on local Members of Parliament to ensure that awareness continued to be raised. He also admitted that he’d received 40,000 letters or emails from concerned individuals, trade unions and other organizations on this topic alone, so that concern was increasing – which is a long way from the unclear and confused responses we received from regional MEP’s in 2013 when we started raising concerns.
Following Richard’s departure at 12:30 – to a round of applause and our thanks – we set up a stall in the aptly named Parliament Street to raise further awareness of TTIP and its potential implications.
The next meeting of the York No to TTIP campaign is on the evening of 19th May. Join our mailing list to keep up with events and news. Whilst this post is on YPA’s blog, York No to TTIP consists of members of YPA, Defend of NHS York, Just York, War on Want and Global Justice Now as well.