Across Europe, opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is having an impact. Since 3.3 million Europeans signed the ‘Stop TTIP’ European Citizens’ Initiative petition, public resistance to the deal has continued to grow. Talks on the secretive trade deal have been seriously delayed. More national governments are raising serious concerns. And this is before we factor in the US elections later this year and the effect those could have on progress.
But the threat that TTIP poses to jobs, environment protections, workers’ rights, animal welfare, generic medicine, digital rights, financial regulation and much more remains. European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said recently she is prepared to make compromises to get the talks moving.
Greens have been at the forefront of efforts to defeat TTIP. Its proponents claim the agreement will ‘unlock’ trade potential, but what they call ‘barriers to trade’ are actually regulations that protect social, environmental and labour standards and the provision of health and other public services.
Please do not be mistaken that leaving the EU will make the UK safe from TTIP. Free-market Leave supporters have said they want Britain to realise a ‘more ambitious’ and faster free trade deal with the US, and the UK was a cheerleader for TTIP within the EU. Outside the EU, the UK is likely to press ahead immediately with aggressive trade deals and not hesitate to sign up as an additional signatory to TTIP if it happens and it is possible to do that. Outside the EU, we must continue to look for ways to build the international anti-TTIP movement, and to build opposition to any new unjust trade deals proposed by the UK government.
The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament will continue to work to block TTIP, as well as the equally dangerous deal with Canada, CETA (proposed as a possible model for the UK by some Leave campaigners).
Whether the UK intends to sign up to TTIP and other EU trade agreements in future, or tries to strike deals on its own, as Greens we must continue to fight for trade justice in all trade agreements – now more than ever.