This 15 October 2014 video from Britain is called Stop the TTIP-Dr Paul O’Connell.
By Joginder Bains in Britain:
Three reasons why TTIP has to be stopped in its tracks
Saturday 3rd January 2015
The Indian Workers Association’s Joginder Bains wrote to Vince Cable and Chris Williamson on the dangers of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
The Indian Workers Association GB has seriously noted the impacts of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiation between the EU and US.
I, on behalf of the IWA, would like to share our views, opinions and worries. IWA believes that if TTIP’s proposals are successfully negotiated, they will have major implications for hard-earned employment rights and public services and will undermine British democracy.
It will have devastating consequences for the British working class as well as for the British economy.
The following are our concerns:
All the discussions regarding the treaty are largely being carried out in secret and its full content is not publicised.
However the information from the leaked official documents raises public concerns.
It is clear that it will have a negative impact on the British way of life. The effect on the National Health Service, including cost of drugs and medical technology, labour rights of healthcare workers, quality equality of care, will be disastrous.
For over 30 years privatisation of health services has gradually been advancing first to the internal market, then to outsourcing them and finally, with the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 Section 75, it has reached its peak.
The current British government has opened the doors to national and international investors and is insistently promoting competitive tendering being the best way for business, workers and consumers.
Vince Cable, in his letter to MPs, has tried to give assurance that the NHS will be exempted from TTIP, but given his track record he is unlikely to be trusted.
2. The attack on national democracy
The national democracy that the British public is proud of is on a slippery slope from TTIP, particularly if the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism is included in the agreement.
ISDS will allow US companies investing in the EU to sue the EU and host states if they are considered to be interfering with anticipated profits by implementing new laws and regulations or if they try to bring public services back into public ownership.
The cases will be decided not by the courts but by a few lawyers.
The respective states, on the other hand, will not have any power to sue the investors if they fail to deliver agreed services and/or required standards. There are hundreds of examples where host governments have been sued for millions of euros and dollars.
This clearly would have disastrous consequences. Governments would be unable to enact laws in the national interest or attempt to reverse commercialisation of public services.
The EU governments will have no power to define terms and conditions and criteria for assessment of contracts and neither will other parties such as NGOs have legal capacity to challenge US multinational companies. This will lead to lowering standards of service and patient care.
3. Compromising health and safety regulations and labour rights
From the available information it is also suspected that the EU’s health and safety regulations will be relaxed, which will negatively affect welfare of labour.
Similarly the role of National Health Centre for Health Clinic Excellence, which assesses the efficiency and quality of health technologies and drugs, is likely to be undermined by the “harmonisation” TTIP will impose provided its primary aim is to reduce barriers to trade and not to protect public interests.
It is feared that governments’ reduced ability to regulate professional standards and qualifications of healthcare workers will have dangerous implications for patient care.
The US has not implemented most fundamental labour rights defined by International Labour Organisation.
Concerns have been raised by the TUC and trades councils that TTIP is likely to level down labour standards to those practised in the US rather than raising them to required levels in Europe.
Some sources have indicated that if the agreement is completed up to a million people will lose jobs across the EU.
There is no doubt left that the National Health Service that the British public cherishes is under attack from TTIP.
Clearly it is only the multinational corporations that will benefit from TTIP.
The reduction of regulatory barriers will also be applicable to food safety laws, environmental legislation and banking regulations.
Moreover it will attack the sovereign powers of individual nations. Once the agreement is reached it cannot be reversed because TTIP’s agreements will apply for 20 years.
The EU-US negotiations are not only being carried out in secret but the key documents have a 30-year ban on public access, as indicated by War on Want.
Our elected MPs will also be denied access to these documents.
The Indian Workers’ Association GB strongly believes that the treaty will have major implications for the British way of life and hard-earned labour rights, and our much-loved and cherished NHS.
It seriously notes that the TTIP will interfere with British sovereignty. The Indian Workers’ Association GB, therefore urges you to use all your influence in the House of Commons and in the EU Parliament to encourage MEPs to use their power to defeat TTIP.
Joginder Bains is general secretary of the Indian Workers Association. This article is based on an open letter to Vince Cable and Chris Williamson MPs.