We attended a good seminar at Leeds Town Hall on TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). It was organized by the Hansard Society and supported by the UK Office of the European Parliament.
There was a balanced panel with two supporters of TTIP and two opponents of TTIP. Both Sam Lowe from Friends of the Earth and Alex Scrivener from Global Justice Now spoke persuasively about the risks to the environment and workers’ rights.
The panel was completed by Richard Corbett MEP. Richard Corbett expressed many concerns about what we have heard about TTIP as it stands and asserted that MEPs will not vote to endorse it if they are dissatisfied with elements of it. However, he is not opposing TTIP outright.
Our question to Richard Corbett was (to paraphrase):
“If you won’t allow ISDS, if you won’t allow regulatory convergence, if you won’t allow elements that compromise workers’ rights or pubic services – what’s would be left of TTIP AND would what remains of the trade deal be so different to our current understanding of TTIP that it wouldn’t be appropriate to call it TTIP?”
Our message was: ‘Richard Corbett MEP: Say No to TTIP!’
The full list of speakers at this event can be seen on http://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/the-transatlantic-trade-investment-partnership-beneficial-to-our-economy-or-a-threat-to-our-democracy-2/
You can also watch all of the speakers’ thoughts on a series of ‘soundbites’ on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYFoTI3dNJ8
We will be taking action on TTIP and organising opposition in the near future.
Join us at Leeds Tidal for the first meeting of Stop TTIP Yorkshire and Humber network on 11th April https://kirkleescampaignagainstclimatechange.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/join-us-11th-april-first-network-meeting-of-stop-ttip-yorkshire-and-humber/ and in Huddersfield on 18th April as part of the international Day of Action on TTIP.
If you would like to read more about how TTIP could threaten environmental regulations and action on climate change see https://kirkleescampaignagainstclimatechange.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/join-us-this-saturday-in-saying-no-to-ttip-events-in-huddersfield-and-across-kirklees/