STOP TTIP South Lakes     Jumps to sections below:  | About us | CONTACT | RESOURCES | ACTIONS by YOU | NEWS & LOCAL EVENTS  | PHOTOS | NHS |CLIMATE| Useful LINKS | Tim Farron | and links to other pages:  | FOOD & FARMING | SME's | Local Councils |

STOP TTIP South Lakes    

STOP TTIP banner

                                                                       Our banner at the Birdcage, Kendal, during an event there

TTIP – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (EU-US)              CETA – Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (EU-Canada)

Jump to LOCAL EVENTS

What is TTIP?       And CETA?       And why should they be stopped?


TTIP is a pro-corporate deal being negotiated behind closed doors between the EU and the US which will give foreign and transnational corporations hard-to-reverse legal powers above nation-states, and will make the privatisation of our NHS irreversible (and likewise our public services), will straightjacket our ability to regulate on climate change and our environment, will mean a further loss of our democracy to transnational capital, increased inequality and much more besides.

Deregulation is central to TTIP - especially those regulations that protect us and our environment, but not those that protect big corporations. CETA is similar but with Canada, and at a more advanced stage towards ratification. We have to stop these and open them up to public and democratic scrutiny. Regulations protecting our food, health and safety, climate and other vital needs are already being affected by TTIP and CETA.

Beware - TTIP is being "sold" to us as being good for growth and prosperity, and even for jobs, despite the EU-commissioned study by big-bank-funded CEPR (London) admitting TTIP will result in job losses, and its growth predictions are at best very small. A recent report from Tufts University is damning against these predicted "benefits", and WDM's Director Nick Dearden summarizes the Tufts findings with the "advice": 'For lower wages, higher inequality and more austerity – vote TTIP'.
And War on Want here refutes Vince Cable's letter to MPs trying to "reassure" them with "a wilful misrepresentation of the truth" about TTIP.
 

Page 1 of our leaflet gives a summary explanation of TTIP and CETA by Brian Woodward: www.bit.ly/TTIPleaflet  (a 2-page pdf). << Please read!
Page 2 helps you have your say - with links to easy actions. Do print and distribute this leaflet to friends, neighbours, relations...

Also: '10 Reasons To Be Concerned About TTIP'  (a 1-page pdf providing a simplified summary. Source: #noTTIP Times newspaper by WDM et al.)

George Monbiot on TTIP: 'The British government is leading a gunpowder plot against democracy' - 4nov14 in The Guardian.

And there's another even more secret agreement started by the USA for corporate benefit - the Trade in Services Agreement - TiSA.

NB: as soon as you've read enough to convince you to take action - do jump or scroll to the ACTIONS by YOU section (or p.2 of leaflet) - where we have quick and easy actions you can take as well as more powerful ones you can move on to doing:     (red is often used here as a colour-code for actions you can take)

CONTENTS of this web-page:

After sections summarizing our group, and the 2 most dangerous features of TTIP: the ISDS and the REGULATORY COOPERATION BODY, there are sections on the following subjects which can be jumped to from here:  | CONTACT | RESOURCES | ACTIONS by YOU  | NEWS & EVENTS  | PHOTOS | NHS |CLIMATE| Useful LINKS | Tim Farron | Local Councils |

& links to other pages: | FOOD & FARMING | SME's |


Our group - STOP TTIP South Lakes

Our group is campaigning to have TTIP and CETA stopped so that full public and democratic scrutiny can take place for them to be "fixed" or "scrapped". By "fixed" we mean removal of all the dangerous text and insertion of necessary text for the sustainable long-term benefit of all of us, our environment and wildlife. The worst of the text requiring removal is the ISDS - the Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement text, but that's by no means all that needs to be removed or amended. Pia Eberhardt of Corporate Europe Observatory said that so much of it is bad that if the bad text is removed there would be little left worth saving!

Towards achieving these aims, in collaboration with other groups and NGOs, we are trying to:
1. increase public awareness, and 2. enable action.
So far we’ve done this largely by leafleting – including our own leaflet, and also by frequent stall-displays in Kendal town centre and elsewhere (photos below), with poster display, leaflets, petitions, and good people helping out with aims 1 and 2.

The STOP TTIP South Lakes group was formed on 27th August in the first meeting of people who responded to the 38 Degrees web-forum for our Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency (MP Tim Farron), and then combined with South Lakes WDM and anyone in our area wanting to stop TTIP and CETA, and to try and get the ISDS removed. Though a recently formed group, several of our members have been studying and campaigning on "free trade agreements" (FTAs) for a number of years (TTIP and CETA are FTAs).

We need local action against TTIP. One reason of many is that TTIP will affect local democracy, local government (e.g. threat to "buy local" procurement), local food sovereignty etc. Nick Dearden (WDM Director) explains this in the Independent:
'We're already pouring 9bn of NHS money into big business - and TTIP will make it worse' (25nov14).

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The ISDS and "ISDS-lite"

The ISDS Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement text is the worst part of TTIP and CETA and is thus well worth understanding:
It gives powers to foreign and transnational companies to sue governments using their own pro-corporate tribunal system (so avoiding our courts and democratic accountability), if any new policy or regulations might affect their future profits - even those designed to protect us. The ISDS tribunal system gives legal primacy to "free trade" principles and profits  over and above matters of vital importance to people and environment, such as the need to protect our environment, climate, health and safety, human rights, employment rights and our democracy.

The ICS-ISDS: Due to the huge public rejection of the ISDS, including the slightly amended ISDS in CETA, EU's Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom brought out an "improved" version of an isds for the TTIP in September 2015 which she re-named the ICS or Investment Court System. But beware, the ICS is not in reality a replacement for the ISDS as it is claimed to be, but is a different version of ISDS, because it retains the intrinsic central flaws of other versions of ISDS. It is based on the "ISDS-lite" voted for by the European Parliament of MEPs in summer 2015: The "ISDS-lite" is a nickname given to compromise proposals by certain MEPs for a separate "court" system more amenable to less-decided MEPs, which attempts to reduce some of the peripheral bad aspects of the standard ISDS but retains its central inherent dangers. It has been widely rejected for the latter reason. Pro-TTIP MEPs are ignoring the fact that the public do not want any separate court system for foreign companies and TNCs, whether called ISDS or re-badged with a different name. The Tim Farron section below links to my emails to Tim on the "ISDS-lite" (linked to directly here). My criticisms to Tim on the "ISDS-lite" also apply to the similar ICS. I have collated articles on the ICS-ISDS via these links:

16sep15: EU Commission announces its proposals for a “replacement” for ISDS - re-badged as ICS – Investment Court System. Links to responses (pdf)   or short-url: www.bit.ly/ISDS-ICS or EU-Commission-proposal-for-ICS-&-responses.pdf (< those are 3 links to the same pdf collation of references with links).
Updates from October 2015 onwards (pdf)


2014: The template letter I provide in resource 3 below explains more fully what the ISDS is, and its impacts, and my briefing to Tim Farron for a response from Vince Cable and his Department BIS (resource 6), lists many of its worst points that need addressing by government. George Monbiot has written several punchy articles on it (readable via the USEFUL LINKS section below). Useful pdf by Public Citizen: 'Case Studies: Investor-State Attacks on Public Interest Policies'.
If you want yet more detail and references on the ISDS (and other aspects of TTIP and CETA) there is a section on the ISDS in my large resource web-page on "free-trade agreements". On both that web-page and the present one below, there is an excellent 5 minute video on the ISDS using fracking as an example, which is very relevant to us here: scroll down until you see blue text 'NO FRACKING WAY' on a small picture of a fracking rig on a green field.

More recently on BBC Radio 4 (and available on iplayer): A thorough 28 minute assessment by Michael Robinson of the ISDS, aiming to answer if it's the threat to democracy that we campaigners reckon it to be: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05ntj7p   Brian Woodward recommends you listen to Robinson and Cecilia Malmstrom on the option she provides for exclusion of health and environment (25 minutes through)


Even The Economist has published an article against ISDS: 'Investor-state dispute settlement:  The arbitration game' "Governments are souring on treaties to protect foreign investors" 11oct14 The Economist.

ISDS in CETA: This explains why we must remove the ISDS from CETA too, before it is ratified or implemented: (NB: an undemocratic EU process allows implementation of ISDS to precede ratification of a "trade treaty" by member states!). 'US multinationals could sue EU governments through CETA' - EurActiv,
20nov14.  Refers to 'Analysis finds EU-Canada trade deal would unleash wave of investor lawsuits' 18nov14, Transport & Environment, and 'CETA: Trading away democracy' - Corporate Europe Observatory. Also: 'Tens of Thousands of U.S. Firms Would Obtain New Powers to Launch Investor-State Attacks against European Policies via CETA and TTIP' (pdf by PublicCitizen USA). Nick Dearden (WDM Director) on ISDS and CETA: 'New trade agreements will TTIP us into powerlessness' -- New Internationalist, nov14. My tweet:


. UK will NOT be immune from threats under & despite gov "reassurances"

A more challenging read: an analysis of the ISDS in CETA from leaked CETA text and Canadian examples of misuse of ISDS: Canadian corporations abuse investment treaties, bully governments into environmental backtrack.

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REGULATORY COOPERATION such as by a Regulatory Cooperation Council or body

This is proposed for TTIP and is a threat to democracy of magnitude similar to having an ISDS or "ISDS-lite" in TTIP or CETA. It would be a joint EU-US body or process for vetting regulations, both existing and new (at proposal stage), with a central part being an "impact assessment" as to whether regulations are "burdensome" to business profits, and including a business influence via representations from "stakeholders" such as TNC's. It would "institutionalize" business lobbying at a supranational level thus distancing regulatory decisions even further from democratic influence. The thought of having fossil fuel companies such as Chevron having increased influence on proposals for regulating carbon emissions or fracking is horrific. Even if such stakeholder influences were constrained (unlikely), such a US-EU body or set of processes would considerably slow and dilute new regulations to be acceptable to both sides, and be more democratically remote than at present. This illustrated short pdf explains: 'TTIP: a box of tricks for corporate climate criminals', and this is GJN's take: Regulatory cooperation in TTIP: A blueprint for corporate domination? - Global Justice Now, October 2015.
And do try this punch piece by Glyn Moody: You thought ISDS was bad? TTIP’s “regulatory cooperation” is even worse in Ars Technica, 19jan16.
Collation of references with links: RegulatoryCooperation-refs-links.pdf



CONTACT

Our email address:    stop.ttip.slakes@gmail.com     Do join us and help us!    Url managed by Dave Plumb.

In 2014 I recommended local people also join the 38 Degrees Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency web-forum via:  http://ttipaction.38degrees.org.uk   - which led to the formation of our STOP TTIP South Lakes group. But this forum has been relatively inactive in 2015.

Our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/StopTTIPSouthLakes  

This web-page and Facebook page are being managed by Henry Adams for the group. Members' suggestions are welcome.

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Our resources include:

 1.  STOP TTIP South Lakes leaflet - largely written by Kendal’s Brian Woodward: www.bit.ly/TTIPleaflet   Please download this pdf, and print and distribute it. Brian has also written a leaflet on TTIP's threat to the NHS (link in NHS section below).
 
2.  Petition to Tim Farron MP to urge for removal of ISDS: www.bit.ly/ISDSpetitionTimFarron    Aim: to get > 1K signatures.
      NB: At the end of 2014 we had gained over 700 signatures in Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency, mostly in Kendal - this is very useful data to remind Tim Farron of the views of his constituents.
Competition: who will collect the most signatures?      (excluding sigs collected during group events)

Networking with nearby constituencies:
Petition to any MP to urge for removal of ISDS: www.bit.ly/ISDSpetitionMP   - I started this for Rory Stewart – thank you Alan (Penrith) for taking this one on from me. If you want more sheets download here.
 
3.  Template letter system to help you email your MP your concerns re ISDSwww.bit.ly/FTAemailMP   Best amended to personalize for more impact.
 
5.  CLIMATE CHANGE: Document on Impact of TTIP, CETA and ISDS on climate change: www.bit.ly/TTIP-CETA-Climate    - document version of a poster display shown at SGR conference (SGR = Scientists for Global Responsibility) in 2014. A more recent modified version of this was published on the Parliamentary Environment Audit Commission (EAC)'s website as part of written evidence on the impact of TTIP on the environment HERE (as html) and as a pdf. FoE's submission HERE (as html page) and HERE (as pdf) covers not just climate change but also other environmental impacts. Note: since I wrote my submission, 2 bits of good news mean I must write updates here: 1. the FQD (Fuel Quality Directive to limit c-emissions from transport) may continue post-2020 (Barroso's agreement to end it appears to have been over-ruled under the new Commission's period of office) and 2. Chevron has withdrawn from its push for fracking in several European countries (at least for now). This link is to Dept BIS's response on 24th July 2015 to the EAC report. Europe's Greens: "CETA killed off the FQD" (to put simply: climate legislation traded away as a bargaining chip for the CETA deal to increase transnational business profits).


Very useful briefing pdf's on some of the main impacts of TTIP and CETA on climate change:

This link to Corporate Europe Observatory's climate-TTIP/CETA briefings is very useful. Or you can access some of them and others here:

1. How the proposed Regulatory Cooperation body would "institutionalize" lobbying influence by fossil fuel companies on climate regulations (new and existing), with the possibility of providing them power to (re-)write regulations to their benefit: 'TTIP: A box of tricks for corporate climate criminals'.

2. How a separate corporate court system for foreign and transnational companies (ISDS/ICS) will give increased power to fossil fuel companies to challenge climate policies: 'Polluters' Paradise'.

3. Crucially, the status quo is for "free trade" principles to have international legal primacy over climate action. A "Brussels leak" prior to COP21 shows that the EU Commission want to maintain that order of primacy: 'Trade trumps climate'.
Tim Farron in a 2015 pre-election hustings agreed that this status quo should be reversed, showing he had understood this message we've been putting across repeatedly in surgery meetings and correspondence. However, since then, there is no sign yet that this principle has been addressed by LibDem policy, and ALDE voted for the transatlantic liberalization of trade in the most carbon-intensive of fossil fuels, which is likely to be part of the proposed "Energy chapter" in TTIP (note: not 'Energy and climate change', or vice-versa - which would be better). We need to urge Tim to set "red lines" on this, to insist that climate action is given legal primacy over trade (and investment) by legally robust text, and that this is reflected in a Climate and energy chapter (The proposed chapter for sustainable development and the environment is toothless).

4. Overview by GJN (Global Justice Now): Five reasons that TTIP and CETA are terrible for the climate: 1 is re 3 above (primacy trade v climate), 2 is re 2 above (ISDS), 3 is re 1 above (Regulatory Cooperation), 4 is re high-carbon agriculture, 5 is re 'freeing up' fossil fuels, from e.g. the Fuel Quality Directive (by disregarding differences in carbon intensities of fossil fuels that the FQD tried to give weight to).

 
6.  Briefing to Tim Farron MP on TTIP, CETA, ISDS: www.bit.ly/FTAbriefTimFarron      - now with Dept. BIS for responses to specific points, especially on the ISDS. Also on impacts on climate change. I've now at last got a response letter - but from Trade Minister Lord Livingston (I'll post that here when I can). Unfortunately it does not adequately address my specific numbered points on the ISDS nor the impacts on climate change.
 

Dept. BIS actually published online one of our photos and tweets showing our event in Kendal on the recent Europe-wide TTIP day of action in a Storify they did online – to my astonishment. Our group is now being noticed on a national scale!  And by the government department we are trying to influence!   (thanks to social media such as twitter and Storify. Please join twitter - a powerful campaigning tool)
 
We now also want to encourage letter-writing to our MEPs and to encourage “satellite” initiatives in other towns in our constituency beyond Kendal.
I'll add help here for doing that.

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ACTIONS you can take:

Page 2 of our leaflet has a good list of actions: www.bit.ly/TTIPleaflet     These may be more up-to-date:

ACTION: Please sign this act.wemove.eu petition:  Governments should not be sued for protecting citizens   Petition text: "Say no to corporations having the right to sue states in special courts, whether they are called "ISDS" or "ICS". Please make sure that this is not part of the TTIP and CETA agreements with the US and Canada or any other European trade treaty; not now, nor ever."  This petition started in Autumn 2015.

ACTION: (posted October 2015) Please email your MEPs against CETA and its ISDS: here's a useful template system by GJN to help make this easy: http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/stopCETA

ACTION: Please sign the 'Self-organised EUROPEAN CITIZENS' INITIATIVE (ECI) against TTIP and CETA' Sign the ECI! Stop TTIP
This petition has now reached over 2 million signatures! If the EU Commission disregard this now - they will be emphasizing their disregard for democracy even more. This group is taking legal action against the EU Commission for disallowing the application for an official ECI and for giving reasons that had inadequate legal substance.

ACTION:  TTIP and CETA will liberalize trade and extraction of the worst fossil fuels, so increasing climate change. FoE makes it easy to urge your MEPs against this:
https://www.foe.co.uk/act/who-wouldnt-reject-toxic-trade-deal


Priority ACTION: Please write to your MEPs: 38 Degrees provide you help to do this 

Priority ACTION:   Please write to your MP: Tim Farron's url is tim@timfarron.co.uk - do copy and paste into your emailer. For other constituency MPs, try www.writetothem.com which finds his/her url for you etc. Your email will have more impact if it's in your own words. However, if you want to use a template (which you can modify) here is one which focuses on removal of the worst part of TTIP and CETA - the ISDS: www.bit.ly/FTAemailMP 

ACTION: Also ask your MP to make sure the NHS is taken out of TTIP: http://action.peoplesnhs.org/nhs-in-ttip

ACTION: [This 38 Degrees forum seems to have become redundant, so join our group instead: Please sign up to 38 Degrees Westmorland & Lonsdale constituency forum for people against TTIP (leafleting etc): http://ttipaction.38degrees.org.uk    #NoTTIP ]     
And do join our group: email the STOP TTIP South Lakes group which was set up as a result of this 38 Degrees facility, if you want to be on our emailing list:
stop.ttip.slakes@gmail.com 

Westmorland & Lonsdale constituency: Our first meeting was on Wednesday 27th August at 7.45pm in The Brewery Arts Centre (Vats Bar), Kendal, where we started 'STOP TTIP South Lakes' group and organized leafleting and events. Subsequent meeting elsewhere as the BAC was not quiet enough.
      

LEAFLETING ACTION: Please read, download, print and distribute this pdf leaflet by 'STOP TTIP South Lakes'. It briefly summarizes TTIP and actions you can do. Please deliver to neighbouring houses along your street, to friends, relations...      The full url for the leaflet is: www.dragonfly1.plus.com/StopTTIPleafletBWHA.pdf

COMPETITION: Collect signatures: Tim Farron still supports TTIP/CETA and the ISDS despite the evidence for how dangerous the ISDS is for example (in existing agreements similar to TTIP). We now have a competition to see who can collect the most signatures to go to Tim to help remove the ISDS: please download from item2 above in the 'other resources' section, print and give it a go!
Be pleased if you collect 10 signatures, and very pleased if you collect 20+     Try friends and relations, social groups, meetings etc you attend, and also don't be afraid to knock on your neighbours' doors (those who understand what you are doing can praise you for both drawing it to their attention and giving them a chance to do something about it). TIPS: first let them know you live on their street or nearby. A "hook":  Most people will dislike privatisation of the NHS: TTIP will provide hard-to-reverse international law that both backs up the opening up of the NHS to privatisation that the recent 2012 "Health" Act promotes, as well as acting as a ratchet - with the ISDS making privatisation irreversible. Yet Tim Farron still supports the ISDS! If we get a large number of signatures Tim Farron will find that hard to ignore.

And: Juncker - the new President of the EU Commission after Barroso, has been recently wavering over whether the ISDS should be removed from TTIP. Here's help for you from 38 Degrees to write to him to urge him to remove it: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/speakout/email-junker

This action is probably over now that the election is due soon: ACTION: Please sign 38 Degrees petition: 'Vince Cable: Fix or scrap TTIP

This section is to help you have your say against the "Free Trade Agreement" type of trade legislation such as the TTIP and CETA, especially to help you push for removal of the most dangerous text, the worst being the Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement clause (ISDS). It is also essential to urge MPs, MEPs and our government to STOP the TTIP and CETA so that it can be opened up to full scrutiny immediately and its pro-corporate anti-people text removed, and replaced with a reassessment of how trade and investment should be carried out in a manner fitting all of our future needs in a resource-limited world with a changing climate.

See - www.noTTIP.org.uk


Please help our actions. This submission to the SLACCtt newsletter prior to the creation of the STOP TTIP South Lakes group summarizes the actions and how you can help: www.bit.ly/StopTTIPactionSouthLakes (or try this link to same).

Please help by leafleting:
Leaflet by Dr Brian Woodward, Kendal, briefly summarizing TTIP and action you can do. It's a leaflet pdf I hope you will read, download, print and distribute (e.g. through letterboxes).

You could also help collect signatures for our petition to Tim Farron to urge Vince Cable for removal of the ISDS:
Download copy of petition sheet for Tim Farron: 
PETITIONtoTimFarron-removeISDS.pdf 
Then after collecting signatures, give sheet to me (Henry Adams) - see contact tel.no. at end of leaflet 01539 722158

Constituencies other than Westmorland and Lonsdale:      (if you want to copy what STOP TTIP South Lakes is doing in W&L in green text above)
Download copy of petition sheet for any MP:  PETITIONtoMP-removeISDS.pdf 

A shortened web-address for the present site is www.bit.ly/STOP-TTIP-South-Lakes   or   www.bit.ly/STOP-TTIP-South-Lakes   This is useful if you want to make it easier for people to type in a web address from a paper leaflet, or to type it in to a tweet as a link. Also it gives feedback to me of the number of times the link has been used.

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PHOTOS

Us at the Birdcage on 24sep14:                  (also there e.g. October 30th (Thursday) and in November)

At the Birdcage, Kendal


And here on the Europe-wide Day of Action against TTIP, with some unexpected help:

In Kendal on Europe-wide Day of Action against TTIP

Remarkably, a cropped version of this photo above was included by government Department of BIS in one of its Storify collations  (scroll down in the BIS Storify until you recognize the right half of photo there). Remarkable - as someone in BIS is noticing that a lot of us disagree with its Secretary of State Vince Cable's propaganda.

A close-up of our display on a table-top in its indoor form: here at a Quaker meeting on TTIP:

Close-up of our display

The reports hanging to left and right are items 5 and 6 in the resources section above.

I'll add pdf's of the text on these posters so you can read it - and print it for your own display if you so wish (feel free to copy what we do!)


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NEWS and LOCAL EVENTS

 - focusing on local news as there is too much European news to be fully collatable here (except for a selection of the most important news - scroll down to read it).

Also see our Facebook page - especially for local eventswww.facebook.com/StopTTIPSouthLakes  

NB: Facebook is much more suited to updating with local events        ^^^^

LOCAL NEWS

LOCAL EVENTS        LOCAL EVENTS        LOCAL EVENTS       LOCAL EVENTS      LOCAL EVENTS


Provisionally 30th January 2016 (Saturday) or a Saturday in February:  (as posted on our Facebook page)
Happy New Year!
In follow-up to Paris COP21 and the flooding, we are trying to organize an event in Kendal to make the public aware of the links between the flooding and climate change, and the influence of fossil fuel companies on these and COP21 and TTIP/CETA.
It will be a joint GJN-SL - SLACCtt - STOP TTIP SL event.
Saturday 30th January at The Birdcage is a provisional date for this.I write "provisional" because the Birdcage is unavailable on our preferred date in January, but because key persons are unavailable on the 30th we may have to shift it to February. So the date may be changed. The final date will be posted here and elsewhere such as on our website, GJN-SL's Fb page, and on a page already created on the SLACCtt website here:http://slacc.org.uk/event/public-awareness-campaign-linking-ttip-with-climate-change-and-flooding/  Nearer the time I'll post further info, including evidence-based arguments for the connections between flooding ..... and TTIP/CETA.

10th October 2015 (Saturday) event in Kendal: CETA and its ISDS need to be stopped! (as well as TTIP)
PHOTOs and a write-up of what happened, such as at the petition hand-over to Tim Farron, are posted on our Facebook page here.
Starts at 9:30am (setting-up soon after 9am), and ends around 3pm. Do come!
Our base will be a display-stall in front of the cenotaph between Stricklandgate and Kendal market square. You are welcome to help for any length of time, or just call in to sign our petitions. We hope people from a number of groups including GJN-SouthLakes, 38 Degrees, SLACCtt, War on Want and others, will come along and help.
We have several linked actions (the most important being 3. - which I should have numbered as 1.), including:
1. Increasing public awareness of:
(i) the dangers of having a separate court system (such as the ISDS) for the privilege of transnational corporations, and using the threat from fracking companies as one of the examples,
(ii) that the EU-Canada investment agreement CETA is nearing ratification, with a full ISDS still in place, and having been allowed negligible democratic input or adequate scrutiny by elected representatives.
2. Collecting more signatures to the petition to Tim Farron against having any separate corporate court systems: Let’s get the signatures up from the current 750 to over 1K!
3. 38 Degrees supporters will be assembling by 9:30am at the display-stall in front of the cenotaph, getting organised, then at 9:40am walking to Tim Farron’s office nearby  to hand over copies of the Stop TTIP ECI petition (which has now exceeded 3 million names Europe-wide!). Tim Farron has agreed to meet us at his office at 9:45am (in preference to at his surgery at 10am - 11am).    http://organise.38degrees.org.uk/areas/1347
4. Hope to collect signatures also for the FoE petition against Barclays financing Third Energy’s fracking proposals for Ryedale.
We hope to repeat this event on later date(s), or at least actions 1 and 2.

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Saturday 10oct15 10am-3pm event in Kendal for the international day of action against TTIP, CETA, TiSA, TPP:

Cumbria County Council Highways have given us permission to set up a stall (as long as it isn't too large) in front of the cenotaph next to Kendal Market place on Saturday 10th October (10am-3pm) (Birdcage unavailable as booked by another group).

I suggest we focus there on raising public awareness about the dangers of separate courts for TNC's and CETA, as well as TTIP, because CETA is almost ready for ratification with the dangerous full ISDS still in place. I suggest we focus on increasing signatures to our petition to Tim Farron against separate courts from its present 750+ to over 1K - which will then be a big enough figure for the media to take notice when we hand it in.     See our Facebook page STOP TTIP South Lakes for further info.


Saturday 22aug15 38 Degrees TTIP day of action 
- This is nationwide - and we have an event at the Birdcage in the centre of Kendal: supporters of Global Justice Now South Lakes, 38 Degrees and STOP TTIP South Lakes (which was started by 38 Degrees supporters) have got together to further increase public awareness and collect more petition signatures. As in 2014. I great success - over 300 signatures collected in Kendal today for input via 38 Degrees to the ECI Stop TTIP petition.

Saturday 18apr15
'Global Day of Action' against TTIP, CETA, TiSA, TPP: We will have an event in the centre of Kendal today, but not the usual display-stall at the Birdcage, but a more mobile and lower key event
leafleting and petitioning  10:30am onwards (until 1pm, or longer if anyone wishes). Do come and help us! We will be starting at the Birdcage at 10:30am but you could join us later if you wish - we shouldn't be far from there. SLDC decided we are not allowed to set up our display this time during the pre-election "purdah" period so we'll be less easy to spot. We will provide leaflets, petition sheets, and small 'stop ttip' flags you could attach to rucksacks or whatever. Better still - bring your own banner if you wish. Unfortunately this event couldn't take place due to a co-incidence of several constraints.

Almost local (Manchester): Saturday 21mar15 War on Want's Annual Conference 'TTIP BUILDING THE FIGHTBACK' 
1pm - 6pm. At least one member of our group is going to this from Kendal.

*****  Friday 13th February - John Hilary - Director of War on Want
gave a talk on TTIP at Kendal Town Hall as part of an event organized by 'Forward in Europe' - local branch of the European Movement  - an open public meeting on "Pros and Cons of the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership between the EU and USA".  7.30pm – 9.30pm, with notable speakers Jacqueline Minor, UK Office of the European Commission, to "describe TTIP" and with John Hilary giving a critical assessment. You may want to read Hilary's comprehensive assessment here beforehand.

****
19th January at Natterjacks, Ulverston, 8pm: "TTIP Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership what is it ? Why it matters and how it might effect us" Brian Woodward is giving an initial summary at this open Ulverston Green Party debate meeting to spread awareness and knowledge on TTIP, and to stimulate action too. See UGP Facebook page for this event for more information e.g. location details. 34 Queen Street, LA12 7AF

****
10th, 17th, 24th January - all Saturdays
- At the Birdcage, Kendal again. 10.00am - 2.30pm/3pm. NB: We are lucky at long last to have bookings on Saturdays - when we are likely to have more people passing by - those who are at work on weekdays. So please come along and help. Helpful if you could email us but not essential: 
  stop.ttip.slakes@gmail.com   

10dec13 Wednesday
- STOP TTIP South Lakes at the Birdcage, Kendal again. 10.00am - 2.30pm/3pm. Do come along and help!


3dec13 Wednesday - STOP TTIP South Lakes at the Birdcage, Kendal again. 10.00am - 2.30pm/3pm. On this frosty sunny day we were very pleased to collect 64 signatures to NW England MPs including 56 to Tim Farron, bringing our total to Tim Farron to over 540. Linda Youd again showed her skills at collecting signatures. Thank you also to Dave Cope for help with dismantling at the end. We also of course informed lots of people about TTIP who hadn't heard about it.

26nov13 Wednesday - STOP TTIP South Lakes at the Birdcage, Kendal again. 10.00am - 2.30pm/3pm. We collected about 40 signatures despite poor weather.
19nov13 Wednesday - STOP TTIP South Lakes at the Birdcage, Kendal again. 10.00am - 2.30pm/3pm.

12nov13 Wednesday - STOP TTIP South Lakes at the Birdcage, Kendal again. 10.30am - 2.30pm/3pm. Thank you to those who helped - especially Margaret James-Barber, Linda Youd, Dave Cope...      Unfortunately heavy rain inevitably reduced signature numbers, but we nonetheless had bonus gains in other ways - spreading awareness to new people who were very interested: thus promising "Networking connections" made.

5nov14 Wednesday - STOP TTIP South Lakes at the Birdcage, Kendal again. 10.30am - 2.30pm/3pm. This was a great success, gaining c. 89 signatures to Tim Farron, bringing the total over a 24 hour period to 100, as 11 signatures were obtained the previous evening after Mike Berners-Lee's lecture at Ambleside, where we displayed our poster-board on the impact of TTIP and CETA on climate change. Linda Youd came all the way from Cark and her skills at connecting with the public must have contributed to the majority of the signatures.

31oct14 Friday - Talk on TTIP by Linda Kaucher of Stop TTIP uk campaign - with much expertise on TTIP (especially re the NHS), and over 12 years on "free trade agreements" NB: see 'TTIP and the NHS' section below for links to her articles.
Venue: Castle Green Hotel
Organizer: Fabian Society: Dr Robert Judson: this is an open meeting and he'd like us to come.
Time etc:  At 6.30 for 7.00pm Admission is 5, which includes tea and coffee before the meeting.

Our display and petitions will be there! Do come along.

30oct14 Thursday - STOP TTIP South Lakes at the Birdcage, Kendal again. 10.30am - 2.30pm/3pm. Do come along and help!

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REGIONAL NEWS

Lancashire County Council set an excellent precedent in 2014 when it voted for a motion against TTIP: 'County Council Speaks Out on US-EU Free Trade Deal' and here are the relevant minutes (scroll down there c. 60% through page under 'Notices of Motion'). Thank you Margaret James-Barber for those very links. We hope both Cumbria County Council and South Lakes District Council will take notice and even try a step better!  Since then, GJN and others have produced useful information to help local councils become "TTIP-free zones".

EUROPEAN NEWS

May 2016 - TTIP leaks (by Greenpeace on 1 & 2 May) - these confirmed our assessments that the consolidated text for TTIP would be bad for us and our environment, but also showed it to be worse than expected. Links to the leaked documents and assessments of them are compiled in this pdf: www.dragonfly1.plus.com/TTIPleaks-collationoflinks.pdf

NB: CETA - the EU-Canada trade and investment agreement - may complete its "legal scrubbing" stage by the end of 2015 and be ready for ratification in 2016 with its full ISDS still in place. It's leaked unscrubbed text has already been thoroughly critiqued: (but a challenging read) an analysis of the ISDS in CETA from leaked CETA text    More on CETA:  Excellent source for CETA info – via Linda Kaucher c.sept 2015: http://www.s2bnetwork.org/issues/eus-free-trade-agreements/ceta-material/     Also:  https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/making-sense-ceta

16sep15: EU Commission announces its proposals for a “replacement” for ISDS - re-badged as ICS – Investment Court System. Links to responses (pdf)   or short-url: www.bit.ly/ISDS-ICS 

8th July 2015:
Today at short notice (no doubt to dodge anti-TTIP campaigners)
the European Parliament's plenary voting for a resolution on TTIP took place, after a delay because the leading pro-TTIP MEPs - including the EP President Martin Schulz, feared that the resolution might not be voted through on the earlier programmed date (!), due to the extent of public pressure on MEPs - especially those in the big centre-left S&D group - to vote against a separate court system for foreign companies and transnational corporations.
Unfortunately - partly due to anti-democratic manipulations of process by Schulz, almost two-thirds of MEPs sided with business lobbyists not their constituents and voted for a pro-TTIP resolution which included a compromise separate court system nick-named "ISDS-lite", and text promoting export of oil and gas from the US. This pdf quotes from the resolution voted for by the EP and lists links to relevant articles both before and after the vote. This link is to an action page to help people contact MEPs prior to this vote. And this link is to a web-page I used to brief MEPs.
This link is to a pdf relating to this plenary vote, comprising a thread of correspondence and meetings of Henry Adams with Tim Farron MP mainly on TTIP and climate change, also on separate court systems (ISDS & "ISDS-lite"), with added correspondence with Catherine Bearder MEP, and the GreenLibDems.  Catherine Bearder [SE England] is the Liberal Democrat Party’s only MEP - and is also in the GreenLibDems. Read it to compare their views with those of Henry Adams (that's me - managing this web-page). This pdf is also accessible by typing www.bit.ly/TTIPclimateBearder into your browser.


The
'Self-organised EUROPEAN CITIZENS' INITIATIVE (ECI) against TTIP and CETA' has reached over 2 million signatures!
Even the BBC reported it! - 'A million sign petition against EU-US trade talks' - BBC News 4dec14.
The aim is now to increase it above its current c.1.5 million to over 2 million.

NATIONAL NEWS

2014/15: The Parliamentary select committee EAC produced an assessment of the likely environmental impacts of TTIP. One of us submitted a statement which was published on the EAC website. FoE also submitted a statement.
2014: The Parliamentary Select Committee on BIS (Business, Innovation and Skills) held a recent meeting on TTIP which was attended by Polly Jones of WDM, David Babbs of 38 Degrees etc. Dave Cope said that Polly Jones put up a good performance, and Dave provided us the link to this video of the several hours long meeting, which he found useful to watch (in stages!):   http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=16584 (Dave wrote: "also worth going first to the Committee’s home page to identify members before watching the session").

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        NHS

Threats to the NHS and public services

NB: Do read Brian Woodward's:  'TTIP Threat to UK Health Care - THE NHS IS BEING SOLD OFF UNDER OUR NOSES!' (pdf)

'PUBLIC SERVICES UNDER ATTACK - TTIP, CETA, and the secretive collusion between business lobbyists and trade negotiators' (pdf) - 12oct15 report by CEO, WoW, TNI, ...

TTIP unless radically changed, will mean the ongoing privatization of the NHS will be made irreversible, such as by acting like a legal ratchet to the opening up of the NHS to privatisation put into UK law by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, and other legal steps furthering the "privatisation by stealth". The ISDS/ICS text will be a major part [but not all] of that ratchet and must be removed (or as a step towards this: at least the NHS specifically excluded from it). TTIP if signed up to by the US and EU member states will itself be extremely difficult to reverse or get out of. Michael Bowsher QC has provided legal advice confirming that NHS is not protected by TTIP and specific robust text is required within the TTIP text to exclude the NHS [link to that further down].

Leaked text from TTIP and CETA shows that the NHS and public services are still within the TTIP and thus affected by it. Although the leaked text appears at first sight to show some general protection for health services, John Hilary (Director of War on Want) who has studied the push for "free trade" agreements for over 20 years, writes for 38 Degrees HERE that these "protections" are inadequate and not quite what they seem to be at first sight. The  NHS and other public services need to be specifically and explicitly excluded from being affected (and especially from the ISDS/ICS), but the UK government does not want to ask for this, even though the EU Commission has provided a section within the draft agreement for nation states to do just that (under 'reservations') BBC on the leaked text. This increases our suspicions of our government, especially as they promised no top-down re-organisation of the NHS in 2010 (the opposite to their plans). Disappointingly, Tim Farron MP, even as LibDem leader, says that such explicit exclusion text in TTIP is not necessary, preferring to trust hollow promises that the NHS is safe from TTIP (did he trust the Tories promise [lie] in 2010 of "no top-down re-organization of the NHS"?).

Kendal's Dr Brian Woodward - a leading member of our group, especially in the NHS and pharmacy, provides an insightful summary of NHS privatisation and TTIP from official references: pdf of his letter. He also wrote an excellent insightful letter published in the Westmorland Gazette in Spring 2015 on NHS privatisation and TTIP. I'll try and link to it as it's well worth a read. Also in summer 2015 Brian wrote an A5 leaflet on the NHS and TTIP. He's provided me with an A4 version which I've uploaded as a pdf so you can read it on line: http://www.dragonfly1.plus.com/TTIP-NHS-leaflet.pdf     (as already linked to above). For an excellent summary of the privatisation of the NHS he recommends: How the NHS is being dismantled in 10 easy steps - written by a GP.

ACTIONS:   Please ask your MP to make sure the NHS is taken out of TTIP: http://action.peoplesnhs.org/nhs-in-ttip  And do visit the home-page for The People's NHS website: www.peoplesnhs.org   Scrolling down on that page you will also see a link to No Health Sell-off at Morecambe Bay: they have a petition for their campaign against the selloff of our hospital pharmacies. Their Facebook page.

2016: 25feb16 The 38 Degrees action to save NHS from TTIP refers to these recent refs (& others). I've copied their notes too:
[1] Leading independent barrister and EU specialist, Michael Bowsher QC, was commissioned by Unite to produce the advice. His full legal opinion can be found here:
http://www.unitetheunion.org/uploaded/documents/MBTTIPAdvice20111511-25674.pdf
An article explaining the advice can be found here:
The Guardian: TTIP deal poses 'real and serious risk' to NHS, says leading QC
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/feb/22/ttip-deal-real-serious-risk-nhs-leading-qc

26jan16 Anger as government blocks TTIP legal documents relating to health service - Phillip Inman - Business - The Guardian.
 
'TTIP: Transatlantic trade deal text leaked to BBC' Glenn Campbell, 26feb15, BBC News (Scotland).

TTIP will affect the NHS (unless the TTIP is radically changed), and as Trade Minister Lord Livingston (who has vested/conflicts of interests in TTIP) showed: the UK government wants it to be included in the TTIP, regardless of the "re-assurances" you may have received from Tim Farron and the LibDems that the NHS won't be affected. The Independent article states: "Unions, including Unite, have demanded that the NHS be excluded from TTIP, but the Tory peer said it should be included because Britain’s healthcare industry is a major exporter and would benefit from more open trade." Because an agreement for "more open trade" would have to be reciprocal, this implies NHS would also have to be "more open". This letter from EU Commission's Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom shows what she's offering to Livingston/UK.
These articles also help to explain:

'NHS boss Stevens and the TTIP 'trade' lobbyists who threaten our NHS' Caroline Molloy 23oct14 in openDemocracy   "New NHS boss Simon Stevens ducks questions about his alleged connection to pro-TTIP treaty lobbyists pushing to open the NHS up further to profiteering US companies."

'On TTIP and the NHS, they are trying to bamboozle us' John Hilary, 14jul14   openDemocracy

'The real force behind the NHS Act - the EU US trade agreement' Linda Kaucher 19feb13 in  openDemocracy "An EU-US drive to harmonise services - particularly health - is critical to the NHS reforms. As the Trade Commission acknowledged, without the financial crash this would not have been possible. Britain's 'shock' programme continues."

'The upcoming EU-US and EU-Canada trade deals have serious implications for the NHS' Linda Kaucher, 15may13 in openDemocracy "Contrary to Coalition promises, the privatisation and liberalisation of the NHS, opening the publicly- funded NHS to transnational investors, has now been fixed in legislation. The Health and Social Care Act, and particularly its accompanying Section 75 regulations, enforce competitive bidding for contracts.", "... the Act and the accompanying regulations were prepared to fit with the proposed US/EU free trade agreement which David Cameron is promoting and furthering ...".

'The BBC Business Unit and the public interest' 17jun13 Linda Kaucher in openDemocracy  "The BBC's reporting of issues from NHS reform, welfare reform and the looming EU US trade deal can be better understood by looking at the BBC's Business Unit. A narrow and questionable 'business perspective' drives more coverage than viewers may think."

'How the EU is making NHS privatisation permanent' Benedict Cooper 3dec13 in New Statesman   Refers to work by Linda Kaucher - who's giving a talk in Kendal.

'NHS Not Safe From Private Firms In Controversial TTIP Deal, UK Admits' Asa Bennett, 1sep14 HuffPost. Trade Minister Lord Livingston wants the NHS to be in the TTIP and thus affected by it.

'NHS 'at mercy of predatory US healthcare firms' if controversial Washington trade deal goes through' Jack Blanchard, 1sep14 -  Mirror Online "Labour MP Grahame Morris, who sits on the Commons health committee, warned: “This is a sinister trade deal." "If it goes through without any changes, it will make the privatisation of services like the NHS irreversible.”"

'We're already pouring 9bn of NHS money into big business - and TTIP will make it worse' Nick Dearden, 25nov14 - The Independent. Also summarizes likely impact of TTIP on local democracy, local government (e.g. threat to "buy local" procurement), local food sovereignty.

In The BMJ: 'The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and UK healthcare' by John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want.

Professor John Ashton (health) [to distinguish him from the equally notable John Ashton (climate) who I understand are related], is President of the UK’s Faculty of Public Health (FPH). As Professor John Ashton has strong local connections, I have copied this to the Westmorland Gazette for their information.

On FPH’s recent web-page TTIP 'threat to people's health in UK and across Europe'  John Ashton states:
We believe TTIP is a threat to the public’s health. The EU tells us that corporations won’t be able to force the UK government to change its laws. Yet, they could force the government to pay vast sums of taxpayer’s money in compensation if laws do not suit the interests of shareholders. That could mean that critical standards that protect the public’s health against unsafe consumer goods, dangerous workplaces and environmental hazards may be lowered to dangerous levels.
FPH states: “FPH calls for the EU to reject TTIP and put health before profit in ‘Trading Health?’, its in-depth policy report on TTIP, which is launched today.” [my bolding]
“People’s health in the UK and across Europe is threatened by plans to introduce measures that could lower vital health, consumer safety and environmental standards to dangerous levels, say 71 public health organisations from 41 European countries in a joint statement today (13 March).”

11may16 Glyn Moody tweeted that this is an excellent detailed analysis: Michael Hudson: Warning to Europe – How the TTIP Threatens Public Health Care and Pensions - in naked capitalism.

'The Efford Bill – A Trojan Horse?' Dr Lucy Reynolds, 18nov14, in NHAspace.  A removal/reinstatement trick to enlarge competition for the NHS, but not for any private monopolies? The wording makes it weak against TTIP, though pretends not to be so at first brief glance. This insightful article also provides very useful references on not just the Efford Bill (e.g. by prof. Allyson Pollock et al.) but also the other stealthy tricks and weaseling with words to implace privatisation since and including the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. 


People's NHS - fighting to stop the sell-off of our health - www.peoplesnhs.org 

No Health Selloff at Morecambe Bay -  Email if you want to join their campaign:  nohealthselloffatmorecambebay@gmail.com
FacebookNo Health Selloff at Morecambe Bay   www.facebook.com/nohealthselloffmorecambebay
twitter:  @NHSatMB   https://twitter.com/NHSatMB


And the impact of TTIP on our health will not just be via NHS locked-in privatization but also threatens to increase prices on drugs by extending patent periods:
   (the TPP Trans-Pacific Partnership is the Pacific equivalent of the TTIP, linked via the US and its transnational corporations)

  Oct 22

Transpacific Partnership will lock-in expensive cancer drugs. Terrifying implications for thru

Refers to: 'US and Japan Lead Attack on Affordable Cancer Treatments' - Wikileaks, 16oct14.


NHS privatisation: more links on this web-page: www.dragonfly1.plus.com/NHSprivatisationMUSTbeSTOPPED.html  

More to add

'The Trans-Pacific Partnership A Threat To Global Health' Deane Marchbein, President of the Doctors Without Borders USA Board of Directors, 20may15

"Climate change is expected to cause 250,000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050, affecting the poorest countries with weak health care systems" - a top issue at the World Health Summit in Berlin this week. EurActiv Germany reports.    TTIP will significantly increase emissions and climate change, as my study reports (link in resources section).


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USEFUL LINKS

Our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/StopTTIPSouthLakes  

STOP TTIP  http://stop-ttip.org/  - the European organization that has set up:
The 'Self-organised EUROPEAN CITIZENS' INITIATIVE (ECI) against TTIP and CETA'

Stop TTIP uk campaign - Linda Kaucher - www.StopTTIP.net  - have produced an excellent insightful and easy-read booklet explaining TTIP and the forces behind it - I hope they put it online. In the meantime the website also has insightful explanatory information. Linda Kaucher has studied so-called "trade agreements" for many years going back to and beyond, from 1999's "Battle of Seattle" against the WTO global pro-corporate-power globalization push - trying to get all nations to sign up (since then the process has been even more insidious - via incremental FTAs and BITs).
Here's one of Linda Kaucher's articles, which shows how pro-bigbiz de-regulation by both UK Deregulation Bill and EU's equivalent push is connected with deregulation in TTIP (but by a different name(s)): 'The EU's giant and secretive deregulation blitz'   openDemocracy.

John Hilary (War on Want): his briefing document on TTIP, for those who want to read more detail:

http://www.waronwant.org/campaigns/trade-justice/more/inform/18078-what-is-ttip and/or here:
http://rosalux.gr/sites/default/files/publications/ttip_web.pdf


No Health Selloff at Morecambe Bay -  Email if you want to join their campaign:  nohealthselloffatmorecambebay@gmail.com
FacebookNo Health Selloff at Morecambe Bay   www.facebook.com/nohealthselloffmorecambebay
twitter:  @NHSatMB   
https://twitter.com/NHSatMB

My website on "Free Trade Agreements" has numerous useful links classified into sections, so you can study in detail a particular sub-topic that especially interests you, such as the ISDS, impact on climate, NHS, precautionary principle etc, etc. Scroll down here for a copy of its introduction and contents, or go to the whole page here under a new browser tab: www.bit.ly/FTAthreats


FILM: 'The trouble with TTIP' New (June 2015) hour long video on TTIP, recommended by Linda Kaucher and Glyn Moody. Made by Stephen Morris. Quoting Linda: "It features interviews with John Hilary (War on Want) Sam Lowe (Friends of the Earth England and Wales), Glyn Moody (IT/trade blogger) Jean Lambert (Green MEP) and myself." https://vimeo.com/channels/thetroublewithttip

TTIP leaks May 2016 (pdf of links): www.dragonfly1.plus.com/TTIPleaks-collationoflinks.pdf

George Monbiot on TTIP and ISDS:                - insightful, punchy, always a good read!
4nov14 'The British government is leading a gunpowder plot against democracy' - in The Guardian "This bill of corporate rights threatens to blow the sovereignty of parliament unless it can be stopped".
11mar14 'Give and take in the EU-US trade deal? Sure. We give, the corporations take'.
2dec13 'The lies behind this transatlantic trade deal' "Plans to create an EU-US single market will allow corporations to sue governments using secretive panels, bypassing courts and parliaments".
4nov13 'This transatlantic trade deal is a full-frontal assault on democracy' "Brussels has kept quiet about a treaty that would let rapacious companies subvert our laws, rights and national sovereignty".

FoE TTIP briefing: 'Stop this Trojan Horse Treaty' https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/stop-trojan-treaty-47364.pdf  -
Samuel Lowe, Friends of the Earth: sam.lowe@foe.co.uk, @SamuelMarcLowe     Also see: http://www.foe.co.uk/page/secret-eu-us-trade-deal

More to add ...


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SUMMARY introductory paragraph on "Free Trade Agreements" and similar treaties.


Big multinational corporations are insidiously using the negotiations towards "Free Trade Agreements" (FTAs) such as TTIP (EU-USA) and CETA (EU-Canada) to increase their power over and above sovereign states by secretively stitching up the world's nations within legal straitjackets. These are forming a global sticky web that will be increasingly difficult for nations to get out of when the public eventually realize how much "democracy" has been seriously diminished.  Such corporations are achieving this by playing a major part within the "behind closed doors" FTA negotiations between nations and nation-groups such as the EU. These negotiations are non-transparent, inaccessible and unaccountable to us the public and any NGOs trying to protect our public-interest. The resulting FTAs become "Trojan Horses" by containing dangerous text that levels-down regulations between nations and enables transnational or foreign corporations to not only have an early influence in the development of any new regulations or legislation but worst of all, enables them to sue governments using their own corporate-friendly tribunal system if any new regulations might reduce their future profits.

Web-site written by Dr Henry Adams, Kendal, (that's me) who has been reading up on FTAs since 2011, when I received a not so "re-assuring" letter from Ed Davey MP (then in BIS, now DECC) after I wrote to government (via Tim Farron MP) on the dangers of CETA in forcing higher-carbon-emissions tar sands fuels into the EU and UK.



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Tim Farron MP - communications with him

Spring 2016 Tim Farron has written to EU's Trade Commissioner with several to all of the questions that one of us (Henry Adams) wrote regarding TTIP’s impact on climate legislation such as the Fuel Quality Directive, and CETA with regards democratic process. This pdf shows the questions: www.dragonfly1.plus.com/QuestionsToCeciliaMalmstrom.pdf And if you would like to read the thread of correspondence with Tim Farrron MP and Catherine Bearder MEP on the above and Climate Red Lines for TTIP and CETA here is a pdf of it: www.dragonfly1.plus.com/EmailsTimFarron-ClimateRedLines&MalmstromQ's.pdf 

12feb16 - Surgery meeting with Tim Farron MP in Kendal on Friday 12 February 2016 - mainly on Climate Red Lines for TTIP and CETA
(pdf)

19jan16
- TTIP and SME's: Link to pdf of my email letter to Tim Farron on this subject, to make him aware of SME's who are against TTIP.

20nov15
I met Tim Farron briefly at his surgery today, but only had time to update him on the ISDS-ICS-"ISDS-lite" issue, and on the recently published TPP which provides a good example of what the US negotiators want for TTIP and its investment protection chapter - which is chilling. My write-up is appended within the pdf for my 12feb16 surgery meeting.

On 16sep15 the  EU Commission's Cecilia Malmstrom put forward their version of an "ISDS-lite", re-badging it ICS - the Investment Court System. It is similar to the "ISDS-lite" voted for by LibDem's only MEP Catherine Bearder. This pdf links to both it and responses by NGO's and several political Parties http://www.dragonfly1.plus.com/EU-Commission-proposal-for-ICS-&-responses.pdf  

Meetings and email threads on ISDS, ISDS-lite, ICS, re TTIP, CETA and TPP:
7sep15 email, and thread including 8jul15 email from Catherine Bearder MEP supporting TTIP and EP's proposed replacement for ISDS (which we nick-name "ISDS-lite") http://www.dragonfly1.plus.com/EmailtoTimFarronReTTIP,ISDSlite,CETA,ISDS-on7sep15.pdf


July 2015:
This link is to a pdf
[or try www.bit.ly/TTIPclimateBearder] comprising a thread of correspondence and meetings of Henry Adams with Tim Farron MP mainly on TTIP and climate change, also on separate court systems (ISDS & "ISDS-lite"), with added correspondence with Catherine Bearder MEP, and the GreenLibDems   (Catherine Bearder [SE England] is the Liberal Democrat Party’s only MEP - and is also in the GreenLibDems). This thread mainly concerns the European Parliament's plenary voting for a resolution on TTIP which took place on 8th July 2015, after a delay because the leading pro-TTIP MEPs - including the EP President Martin Schulz, reckoned the resolution might not be voted through on the earlier programmed date (!).

The views Tim Farron expresses in summary appear to be from
a simple ideological and idealistic belief: that what he thinks of as “free trade”, is good for peace and prosperity (despite much evidence showing that "Free Trade Agreements" - which are actually much more than just about trade (hence my added ""), create social stresses, security risks and even violence, and worrying research conclusions that TTIP will be bad for prosperity, except for "the 1%").

Both Tim and I agree from a starting point that trade is a good thing in general, but where we differ from then on is in taking that to assume that all types of trade - especially "free trade" - are also a good thing. "Free trade" in the real world is how the big corporations and their lobby groups regard it, exploit it, and how they get it into international law - and my experience from investigating it reveals the many dark sides that Tim Farron appears to "filter out", in his hope that "free trade" is or will be - how he would like it to be, or like to believe it is (if belief and perception can be adequately protected from evidence to the contrary). A key point here that Tim appears to turn a blind eye to, is that "free trade" in "free trade agreements" such as TTIP means much more than just trade: in fact it is much more to do with "liberalizing" the activity of foreign companies and transnational corporations by the removal of Non-Tariff-Barriers (NTBs) which in reality means deregulation - including the dilution or removal of hard-fought-for regulations that protect vital requirements such as health and safety, environment/climate, democratic and human rights... Tim has argued that TTIP could equally result in levelling-up of regulations - which is absurdly untenable as on most matters except finance, the US has lower regulatory standards than the UK and EU, and any negotiations towards a "deal" inevitably get pulled towards midway compromises...

I would not bother to brief him so frequently on the reality-from-evidence of what free trade agreements and the ISDS actually are if I didn't have a glimmer of hope that he will see the reality at least in part - such as on deregulation, climate impacts etc - before it's too late.

Previous communications:


May 2015: Great news: Tim agreed that TTIP should not give legal primacy to free trade principles above the need to tackle climate change, and actually said this at a hustings (though the GJN-organized hustings). But not-so-good-news: Tim is wavering on the ISDS - probably because he has heard of the Malmstrom compromise for the ISDS, which ALDE (the alliance of European Liberal Democrat MEPs) is likely to be supporting.

21jan15: Great news: Tim writes to his constituents who've expressed concerns over TTIP especially the ISDS that “[I] do not support the inclusion of an ISDS within the TTIP negotiations”. This is a very welcome change. However, being very much pro-"free trade", he still supports TTIP other than the ISDS. In his email to me on 21jan15 to which he attached his statement to constituents he wrote: "Whilst I remain a supporter for free trade, over the period that I've been looking more closely at this subject I have come to the view that an ISDS agreement is not needed between two parties with mature legal systems. I'm grateful to you for taking the time to pass on so much information on this issue to me, which has been really valuable when I've been considering this." [my bold emphasis]. Here is a pdf copy of Tim Farron's 21jan15 position statement on TTIP, ISDS and NHS.


On Friday 28nov14 I had a brief surgery meeting with Tim Farron during which I provided him a first set of incisive questions for him to forward to Lord Livingston to critically expose weak points in Livingston's letter:
www.dragonfly1.plus.com/TimFarronSurgeryMtg28nov14-HenryAdams.pdf 
 
Link to copy of Lord Livingston’s letter to Tim Farron MP in response to my July briefing document for Tim Farron:
www.dragonfly1.plus.com/LivingstonToTimFarron17nov14.pdf       - in response to:
 
My July briefing document for Tim Farron MP – which he emailed to Dept for BIS for specific responses to numbered points e.g re the ISDS:
www.bit.ly/FTAbriefTimFarron

'TTIP CETA ISDS: a debate with Tim Farron MP (with images, tweets) henryadamsUK Storify'
https://storify.com/henryadamsUK/ttip-ceta-isds-debate-with-tim-farron-mp  
- centred on a twitter debate with Tim Farron on 13th October 2014, but starting with tweets to the LibDem conference
Beware: contains some humour including irony...

I am about to publish a document assessing Tim Farron's views more thoroughly, based on a debate we had in a surgery meeting this summer. I have passed on the 1st draft to Tim asking him to amend any of my text summarizing his views if he considers them unrepresentative, but I have had no response to that so I'll assume I've accurately represented his views and will publish.

Yet to add all of these (a year plus worth - i.e. a lot!)


Tim Farron's views he expresses are as I wrote above, from a simple ideological and idealistic belief: that what he thinks of as “free trade”, is good for peace and prosperity.

He fails to understand or accept that increasing the "freedom" or liberalization of business (which he much likes the idea of) would also decrease the liberalization or freedom for us and democracy - from the over-bearing and increasing power of corporate big business to profit however they wish, with freedom from the regulatory restraints that try to protect our environment, climate, health, public services, employment rights, and wildlife habitats. For example he appears to block his mind to (and repeatedly dodges questions on) the impacts on climate change of further liberalization of the fossil fuel industry. This is despite my having briefed him over many years on this (e.g. more recently 5 & 6 of resources above), and as a prime example: the expanding tar sands industry and its desire to transport much more of its high emissions products to Europe (i.e. by trade liberalization from EU regulations such as the Fuel Quality Directive).

He has been helpful in writing to government (the SoS for Dept. BIS) to get responses from them to his representations of his constituent's views (as shown in my letters/emails/briefings to him), but avoids writing words of agreement with the statements I write, even though they are arguments referring to evidence. (So his omission of positive endorsement thus reduces their potential impact on government).

I have been trying to persuade Tim Farron for over a year with the evidence I provide him but he doesn't appear to take in or accept any of it as providing the overall picture from his viewpoint, or see any implications from the evidence I provide (as if regarding the evidence maybe as being of exceptions to the picture he envisages), so fixed in his mind is "free trade" as a wonderful thing for peace and prosperity, free from barriers to trade. Also he likes to focus on the "trade" aspect despite that being but a small part of a "Free Trade Agreement" in reality. However when I focus on the ISDS - he has replied that he agrees that UK companies based in his constituency should have an easy method such as the ISDS to get their own way in the US, despite the fact that US companies could then do the same thing in the UK (e.g. fracking companies), and also despite the massive evidence of misuse of the ISDS I have presented to him, such as a fracking company suing Canada for Quebec's moratorium on fracking (again he may be dismissing the evidence as being exceptional cases - which wouldn't of course apply to the UK [not my view]).

The following text including that in green and blue is copied from my large web-page on "free trade agreements". Despite being briefed with evidence and evidence-based reasoning for over a year now on TTIP, Tim Farron still sticks to the coalition / Vince Cable propaganda despite the latter having been shown to have no basis in fact (e.g. John Hilary of War on Want has demolished much of it).

Autumn 2013: Unfortunately  the LibDems have formed a briefing document that blinkerdly promotes the TTIP by regurgitating 1-sided neoliberal propaganda that focuses primarily on money-making/growth/GDP (then on "jobs"), to the exclusion of other relevant aspects of great importance such as sovereignty, democracy, environment, climate change etc. Nonetheless several LibDem MPs have signed EDM 793. Should the LibDem Party be more descriptively now be re-named as the Neoliberal Party? I hope it doesn't turn to this. So if your MP is LibDem, please read the following paragraphs and write to him/her (&/or visit at MP surgery).

Correspondence between Brian Woodward and Tim Farron MP re the TTIP (pdf)  shows that Tim Farron was in February 2014 supporting the LibDem Party line with very little critical assessment of it. Includes Brian's excellent critical assessment of the TTIP and LibDem's promotion of it.
We need to persuade Tim to take heed of our views. This is too important a matter for Party tribalism. The following is more up to date wrt Tim Farron's current views:

Correspondence and meetings between Henry Adams and Tim Farron MP (pdf)    <<<   NB: Now updated to 29th March 2014
SLACC-TT members especially: Though my 28feb14 meeting with Tim Farron appeared to be promising, with Tim instructing his assistants to research into at least points 1 and 2 above, on my subsequent meeting with him on 21st March it was apparent to me that he had not read up about the ISDS mechanism (i.e. re point 1.) nor understood the reasons why there is a default net pressure in the negotiations towards leveling down, not up, of the regulations which we have to counter (2.). He even assumes leveling-up is the default steer, despite admitting having not read-up on the subject of TTIP, in which case a "neutral" a priori viewpoint should be 50:50. Please write to Tim urging him to read up on the subject, especially my points 1. to 3., and to make a strong public stand against the ISDS. I hope you will find my correspondence helpful in writing an email to Tim.
NB: 28th March sequel: I showed Tim the 5 minute video on the ISDS and fracking (NO FRACKING WAY | How the EU-US trade deal risks expanding fracking...): this was a "game-changer" and obviously very much engaged his attention. Spring/early summer: Tim has written a strong letter to Vince Cable re TTIP and ISDS including some of my writings on their threat to our future ability to tackle climate change through democratic processes.
Government responded with a pro-TTIP "reassurance letter".
I then wrote a rebuttal demolishing some of his claims (especially his weak and incorrect text re climate change impacts):

Here I write a detailed rebuttal of Ken Clarke's pro-TTIP "reassurance" letter to Tim Farron MP (pdf), July 2014. Shortened link: www.bit.ly/FTAhenryKC  <<<
Letter re TTIP, CETA, ISDS, by Brian Woodward (main author) to represent views of South Lakeland WDM: SL-WDM-letter-TTIP-CETA-ISDS.pdf


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Impact of TTIP and CETA on local democracy and councils

Very useful info on Global Justice Now website: e.g. 'Local councils are starting to tear strips off TTIP' by Kevin Smith, 28aug15 - describes potential straight-jacketing impacts of TTIP on local democracy (e.g. on local procurement); also the 'TTIP free zone' campaign - and links to useful resources and briefings.
2016:
There is now a TTIP FREE ZONES Europe website to provide European solidarity to this campaign: www.ttip-free-zones.eu 
Other GJN resources: Model TTIP motion for local authorities & Make the UK a TTIP Free Zone - email your councillors
& Local government briefing: The EU-US trade deal: How TTIP could cripple local government (June 2015).

Highly acclaimed assessment by Janet Sillett of the Local Government Information Unit, www.lgiu.org.uk
POLICY BRIEFING   Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): implications for local government 29 October 2014, by Janet Sillett:
http://www.lgiu.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Transatlantic-Trade-and-Investment-Partnership-implications-for-local-government.pdf

Letter from StopTTIPuk to leaders of local councils: StopTTIPukLAletter.pdf - by Katherine Williams and Linda Kaucher on behalf of StopTTIPuk, 2015. ACTION: This is a very useful template if you want one - to help you write to your councillors.


CETA and public services - an analysis of leaked CETA text:
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2014/09/making_sense_of_the_ceta_PUBLICSERVICES.pdf

NEWS:

Brian Woodward has already given a talk (but he was only allowed "3 minutes"!) to local SLDC councillors on the impacts of TTIP on local councils and the NHS.

April 2016 The Barcelona Declaration (pdf) - this declaration by "Mayors and elected local representatives, participating in the first Pan-European Meeting of Local Authorities" on TTIP, CETA, TiSA will hopefully help increase the number of "TTIP Free Zones" and their "solidarity" and effectiveness in combating the constraints and loss of local democratic power that these agreements would impose on local authorities and democratically elected councils. Other refs to this: https://www.ttip-free-zones.eu/node/92 & 'Barcelona Declaration' of European cities demands suspension of TTIP talks Common Space, 22apr16. Sue Walley of GJN-SouthLakes visited the event on day 2 as part of a GJN contingent led by GJN's James O'Nions and gave us an excellent slide presentation on 9may16, followed by a workshop on how we can progress this with our own local councillors. I hope to post a link to her slide presentation soon: it has some bullet points that would be useful to put across to your councillors.

ACTION suggestions:

Write to your local councillors (Town Council, SLDC, CCC) encouraging them towards making your town, district and/or county council a "TTIP Free Zone". The STOP TTIP UK template letter is helpful for this, so too the GJN links and other links above.

USEFUL CONTACT info:

SLDC web-page listing “Your Councillors”: http://democracy.southlakeland.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx
Cumbria County Council "Find Councillor": http://councilportal.cumbria.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx Try Parish: Kendal, or e.g. Staveley with Ings. But could do with a boundary map of parishes!
Kendal Town Council - councillors: http://www.kendaltowncouncil.gov.uk/town-councillors-2/

Alternatively use the www.writetothem.com website, or the GJN link above that also provides you an email template.

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Extract from start of my main web-page on TTIP, CETA, ISDS etc:

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The text below is copied and pasted from the web-page resource created by Henry Adams on "Free Trade Agreements" (FTAs) such as TTIP and CETA, and "Bilateral Investment Treaties" (BITs). Link to the whole of it: www.bit.ly/FTAthreats 

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 My web-site HUB page HERE

Web-site written by Dr Henry Adams, Kendal, (that's me) who has been reading up on FTAs since 2011, when I received a not so "re-assuring" letter from Ed Davey MP (then in BIS, now DECC) after I wrote to government (via Tim Farron MP) on the dangers of CETA in forcing higher-carbon-emissions tar sands fuels into the EU and UK. Thank you Trade Justice Movement for describing this web-page as "a great resource". This web-page is currently being continually improved.


URGENT ACTION: Please sign up to 38 Degrees constituency-level action against TTIP (leafleting etc) from end of August onwards: http://ttipaction.38degrees.org.uk    #NoTTIP
ACTION: Please sign the 'Self-organised EUROPEAN CITIZENS' INITIATIVE (ECI) against TTIP and CETA' Sign the ECI! Stop TTIP   
        More ACTION options in ACTION by YOU section (see above - highlighted)
NB: Westmorland & Lonsdale constituency and South Lakes residents - green text is for you.

       NB: Correction with apologies: I had typed in 'Wednesday 27th September' when I meant August. We will be having another meeting c.end of Sept./start of August.
My briefing for Tim Farron MP in July (a pdf): www.bit.ly/FTAbriefTimFarron - now with Vince Cable/BIS for responses to specific numbered points.
LEAFLETING ACTION: Please
read, download, print and distribute this pdf leaflet by 'STOP TTIP South Lakes'. More on this in ACTION by YOU section. 


Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize-winning economist, said with regards 'Free Trade Agreements' such as TTIP/TAFTA: "Corporations everywhere may well agree that getting rid of regulations would be good for corporate profits. Trade negotiators might be persuaded that these trade agreements would be good for trade and corporate profits. But there would be some big losers - namely, the rest of us." (copied from www.citizen.org/TAFTA).

Legislation is under negotiation that would allow US multinational corporations such as Chevron or Monsanto to sue the UK or EU outside our court system if any new UK or EU laws or regulations might reduce their future profits (such as climate legislation). If this threat to our democratic rights to try for a better future "raises your hackles" then this web-page I hope will arm you to have your say.

Trade agreements can potentially be beneficial for the majority of affected people, but the so-called 'Free Trade Agreements', and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), which are enveloping the world, are like "Trojan Horses" as they affect much more than just trade, and in ways opposite to beneficial, except for a minority. They are in effect "corporate charters", negotiated behind closed doors with exclusive access and influence given to corporate interests to further their aims for maximizing profits and global domination. The latter is implemented by the dangerous text they typically contain that empowers multi-national corporations to legally trump or straight-jacket national and EU law, policy and regulations, and thus also democracy and sovereignty. FTAs and BITs prioritize profit over people, and are a huge threat to our climate, environment, health and safety, human rights, employment rights, indigenous peoples' rights etc, etc (the list is long). This web-page explains how FTAs are dangerous in these ways, and provides evidence from existing FTAs.

The biggest FTA affecting the UK now is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and US, which is currently under negotiation. As with other FTAs, one of its main aims, and its largest requirement for its hyped-up financial benefits, is deregulation: the levelling down or removal of key regulations protecting us and our environment, such as from toxic chemicals, pollution, carbon emissions, fracking, environmental destruction, misuse of GM and pesticides, employment rights, bank crises, etc. These hard-won regulations TTIP lumps in the category 'non-tariff barriers' - barriers to potential profits for multinational corporations. Also within this category are public procurement policies, to be prized open with a legal ratchet for irreversible privatization of public services such as the NHS - to convert taxpayers money into dividends for the rich. TTIP will increase some regulations: those that protect corporate power and profits. Here is a 4 minute introductory video of TTIP: What is the TTIP?

This web-page aims to provide you with information and resources to help you have your say on these FTAs, especially the TTIP and its equivalent with Canada (the CETA).

 

Do watch this excellent 5 minute video, which gives evidence of some of the worst aspects of FTAs, such as their most dangerous clause the ISDS mechanism, which we must fight to remove from the TTIP and other FTAs:
 

NO FRACKING WAY | How the EU-US trade deal risks expanding fracking in Europe and the US | news release [2014] from SourcedTV on Vimeo.

'A trade agreement currently being negotiated between the US and the EU could open the way to multi-billion euro lawsuits from companies wanting to expand “fracking” for shale gas and oil, reveals a new report today. As part of the proposed investor rights chapter in the EU-US trade deal, companies could be allowed to sue governments, through a binding arbitration system that operates outside national frameworks, if they attempt to regulate or ban fracking [or change any policy or regulation that might reduce profits from any activity of a multi-national company]. Campaigning groups are urging the EU to not include such rights in the trade deal.'  - Such corporate rights are the ISDS mechanism, which this web-page describes in detail further below.

Stop the Corporate Power Grab
Click here to help stop the corporate power grab
  This power grab, unless checked, will give corporations a profit-focused set of laws with legal superiority above national sovereignty and thus democracy. With such added powers (as if multi-nationals are not powerful enough!), corporations are likely to legally force these on you: fracking and other risky extraction processes, Monsanto's GM crops and pesticides, more pollution of air, land and water, higher carbon emissions diesel from the destructive tar sands industry, irreversible privatization of public services (e.g. NHS), increased stifling of climate legislation by oil companies such as Chevron, etc, etc.
          For CONTENTS - scroll down (the jump to CONTENTS does not work well in Safari and Chrome)

There are better alternative forms of trade to "free trade", and
fair trade is better than "free trade"!
B
e aware that FTAs affect much more than just trade, and removing the very low remaining tariffs is but a tiny part of what they encompass:
They impact on almost all economic and political activity and more besides: they will affect all of us: much of what we do and try to do.
If you don't want big multi-national companies being given legal powers to constrain and even over-ride national sovereignty and your democratic rights, then I hope you will find this web-page useful to you as a resource to help you defend your rights.

If this subject is new to you (it has been hidden from the public) - scroll down to read my introduction, or a recent 'must-read' article, then if you feel the urge to respond - jump to the ACTION by YOU section, such as via the CONTENTS. Don't feel you have to read everything on this page before going to the action section. This is a huge multi-topic subject, much of which you can regard as for reference, for picking out what topics interest you most, whether it be tackling climate change, NHS privatization, food and farming standards ...


South Cumbria's Cumberland and Lonsdale constituents (including
SLACCtt & SL-WDM): 1. the green text is for you, 2. the 'ACTION by YOU' section provides help for you to write to Tim Farron MP.      SLACCtt: note that there is a section on impacts of FTAs on CLIMATE CHANGE, fracking, tar sands (via CONTENTS below).

CONTENTS of this web-site      Jumps to sections within this web-site:

DANGERS:
The negative aspects of FTAs

Any positive benefits?
Examples of FTAs
e.g.
TTIP TAFTA CETA
 TPP NAFTA

Alternatives to FTAs:

Alternative Trade Mandate
NGO's, people, websites re trade justice & local democracy, civil society ACTION by YOU
& SLACCtt
& for MPs & MEPs
Correspondence and meetings between Henry Adams and Tim Farron MP (pdf)
& ditto
Brian Woodward
Reference LINKS

you may prefer your own analysis
to mine!
CETA Canada-EU FTA & tar sands
NB: links to "reassuring" (NOT!) response letter from Ed Davey of 6sep11
CLIMATE CHANGE & fracking
 e.g. threat of TTIP & CETA negotiations to EU CC legislation & to democratic control of fracking & tar sands
             v  v  v                                                                                       Westmorland & Lonsdale constituents: useful information specific for you in the ACTION by YOU section
                
v

Negative aspects: | ISDS < the most dangerous threat! | Levelling down regulations | Corporate vetting of proposed regs | Will precautionary principle survive? | Re human rights & indigenous rights | Lowering of food & farming standards | Privatization of public services e.g. NHS | Employment rights | Chemicals | Education | Intellectual Property Rights, Patents & Copyright | Internet freedom & privacy | Further deregulation for financial services | Corporate tax-dodging ensures no level playing field | Flawed neoliberal ideology 


Recent or must read articles:      (to view more click HERE, from where you can click to get back to CONTENTS section)

My briefing for Tim Farron MP in July (a pdf): www.bit.ly/FTAbriefTimFarron
A useful summary of the strong concerns of NGOs representing our public interests: 11nov13 letter (pdf) re TTIP/TAFTA to Obama, Barroso, Van Rompuy which has many signatories for NGOs etc from both sides of the Atlantic.

16apr14 [Not introductory but powerfully useful and up-to-date:] 'Still not loving ISDS: 10 reasons to oppose investors’ super-rights in EU trade deals' - Corporate Europe Observatory.
'What does the biggest free trade deal in history mean for the environment?' The Guardian ECO AUDIT of 14mar14, with Karl Mathieson collating comments and ending with his verdict.
'Give and take in the EU-US trade deal? Sure. We give, the corporations take' George Monbiot, 11mar14, The Guardian.
And... (continue here).
'30 Reasons why Greens oppose TTIP' - 6jun14.  <<< Excellent, and easy to read.
This brief concise summary is also an easy read: TTIP of the Iceberg [but 2nd sentence of 2nd paragraph is strangely wrong].
Here I write a detailed rebuttal of Ken Clarke's pro-TTIP "reassurance" letter to Tim Farron MP (pdf), July 2014. Shortened link: www.bit.ly/FTAhenryKC
An excellent letter re TTIP, CETA, ISDS, by Dr Brian Woodward (main author) to represent views of South Lakeland WDM: SL-WDM-letter-TTIP-CETA-ISDS.pdf
Brian briefly summarizes some TTIP issues at NW Transition Conference on 12july14: 'TTIP and Transition' 


Introduction             (N.B. in reality, FTA's are not just about trade)

Big multinational corporations are insidiously using the negotiations towards Free Trade Agreements to increase their power over and above sovereign states by secretively stitching up the world's nations within legal straitjackets. These are forming a global sticky web that will be increasingly difficult for nations to get out of when the public eventually realize how much "democracy" has been seriously diminished.  Such corporations are achieving this by playing a major part within the "behind closed doors" FTA negotiations between nations and nation-groups such as the EU. These negotiations are non-transparent, inaccessible and unaccountable to us the public and any NGOs trying to protect our public-interest. The resulting FTAs become "Trojan Horses" by containing dangerous "payloads". Here are some:

1. Deregulation: Under the name "regulatory harmonisation" or other preferred terms they try to level down or eliminate any regulations or policies that can be regarded as being "barriers to free trade" and free market principles, or to investment profits, even those
regulations designed to protect people and environments. Profits are given legal primacy over everything else. Conversely they aim to increase regulations that protect potential profits - especially from those corporate activities that are against the public interest (i.e. that would be harder to gain legal protection under democratic scrutiny).

2. Especially dangerous is the inclusion in the investment chapter of text that gives companies the right to sue governments outside of our legal and court system if their potential profits from trade, investment or other activities are restricted or threatened by any new policy decisions or new laws and regulations. This text is the Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) - which I will explain in the "Trojan Horse" section below. There is already ample evidence from existing FTAs and BITs that corporations are suing governments for loss of profits from, for example, attempts to stop polluting and destructive mining projects, and fracking.

3.
For the regulatory co-operation chapter (which includes the problematical "regulatory harmonization" aim), US is pushing for US interests and their lobbying groups and stakeholders (mostly industry) to be given the power to amend, dilute, delay or possibly even block any EU ideas for regulatory improvements, and at an undemocratically early stage in the development process - before even reaching a stage of democratic involvement (by MEPs or public citizens). Proposed climate legislation could thus be killed at birth by Chevron, a US official adviser and backed by the US trade representative. [Refs: CEO, FT, etc in CONTENTS | CLIMATE CHANGE...).

4. They provide legal pressure for irreversible privatization of public services. For the UK and its NHS this is dangerous, especially if the NHS is not made 100% exempt from this threat in the EU-US trade deal now under negotiation. The opening up of he NHS and its huge supply of taxpayers money to plundering by corporate interests and their shareholders is worrying: it is a very tempting treasure trove for transfer of taxpayers money to shareholder dividends and company directors - which Cameron and Osborne are pleased to make available under the false presumption that private is better than public for delivering public services [G4S? ATOS? private care homes?...!]. It is also central to calculations of [speculative] "financial benefits" [to whom?] of the trade deal. Kendal's Dr Brian Woodward provides insightful summary of this from official references [pdf of his letter].
 
Most important to us in the UK right now are the FTAs under negotiation between the EU and USA (TTIP) and between EU and Canada (the CETA). The other huge FTA under negotiation is the trans-Pacific TPP between USA and other states in or bordering the Pacific. With these in place it will be checkmate: no nation will want to risk facing multi-million (or even multi-billion) dollar lawsuits by creating any laws or policies that might threaten corporate profits such as climate legislation, restrictions on GM food imports or of destructive and polluting mining projects.

"Free trade" Economics (skip if that's not your interest): "Free trade" is being peddled as a cure-all to economic problems and to give a boost to the flawed goal of unqualified GDP growth, despite the reality that "Free Trade Agreements" have less to do with trade but much more to do with profits from deregulation and privatization, which shift costs onto us. The cure-all notion is a neoliberal ideological myth and a part of “market fundamentalism”, or in reality a twisted form of all these concepts - as the market created is far from being a “level playing field” for fair competition, or ‘free’, as the biggest players ensure they get the biggest advantage - and a legalized big advantage too, thus paradoxically destroying the concept of a level playing field for a market to function well. There are potential small benefits for trade agreements in removing unnecessary tariffs (but there are minimal tariffs remaining between EU and US), and removing subsidies that distort an even market for trade, such as US subsidies for the oil and gas industry, and for growing maize (but the North American FTA failed to tackle these and I expect TTIP will ignore these too).
But the use of the pro-corporate model inherent in FTAs and BITs, coupled with corporate hijacking of trade negotiations, is resulting in an unfair shift towards oligopoly, and thus ironically - 'market failure'. The costs to us from deregulation are 'negative externalities' - also increasing 'market failure'. Furthermore, financial instability due to speculation on exchange rates causes much more problems for trade than small tariffs, yet is ignored by the FTA model.

Other trade models such as the Alternative Trade Mandate are ignored because they aim to benefit all of us, not just the rich and powerful elite at our expense.

Free Trade Agreements are not so ‘free’ - they come at a huge cost - to democracy, sovereignty, climate, environment and natural resources, health and safety, workers' rights, human rights etc:                                         [read on or jump up to CONTENTS or ACTION by YOU]


Some of the many bad aspects of FTA’s:       (the down-sides of globalization with FTAs)


The fact that this is a long list is a big point in itself. And it's expanding as my spare-time permits. I have yet to re-order it according to severity of threat.
The worst aspect - the dangerous ISDS - is now item 2. in the list because item 1. gives some background context - but this can be skipped if you want to tackle the worst first!
The most concise and readable list I have encountered is this one:
'30 Reasons why Greens oppose TTIP' - 6jun14.
And for a fuller report, C.E.O. - Corporate Europe Observatory have produced an excellent report: 'A brave new transatlantic partnership - The proposed EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP/TAFTA), and its socio-economic & environmental consequences' which you can read on the WDM website here.


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