Monday, 29 September 2014

Should Local Councils be afraid of the TTIP?

TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, is an international agreement between the European Union and the United States which is currently being negotiated behind closed doors in breach of the principle of open democracy. Luckily, the negotiations are being heavily leaked so that we have some idea what is being proposed.

Most worrying is the proposal that corporations can sue governments, including local councils, for profits they might have lost as a result of democratic decision-making on standards and safety.

TTIP includes provision for an Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism (ISDS) which will take such legal actions out of the normal court system thus by passing all legal safeguards such as open justice, equality of arms and rules of disclosure.

A group of 120 academic experts has spoken out against the planned provisions on ISDS in TTIP. They are concerned that TTIP by passes national courts and national legal systems and allows foreign investors exceptional protections.

The European Greens are concerned that TTIP rules, designed to advantage large multinational corporations may undermine public procurement and increase pressure for privatisation of public services such as the water supply.

So yes, Local Councils should be afraid of this nebulous international agreement being negotiated between the European Union and the United States which will enable multinational corporations to disregard hard won environmental, social and labour protections.

No comments:

Post a Comment