Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber Region – March 2012-June 2014.
I am concerned about the Transatlantic Trade Partnership proposed between Europe and the USA. It was mentioned in the Guardian (5/11/13). It is the brainchild of the Eurocrats right of centre political parties and large corporations with a view to creating a large single between the USA and Europe. This, from what I understand, has had very little publicity despite the implications for sovereignty at a European and national level. There has been very little publicity and it appears that this is being sneaked in by those involved. It is certainly the first I have heard of it. Are you aware of the treaty and if so what is your response and that of your fellow Liberals. The partnership would involve the creation of a tribunal to resolve disputes. This tribunal will be made up of unelected and democratically unaccountable corporate lawyers who would have the powers to overrule national parliaments and courts. If, as proposed, the British Labour Party got into government (with or without Liberal Support) introduced a price freeze on fuel prices, the energy companies could successfully challenge this and the British government would have to compensate them fully for their loss. This has already happened elsewhere where such Partnership treaties already exist. The example of Australia whose government introduced measures regarding tobacco product packaging. They introduced plain white packaging with health warnings. The tobacco companies sued for loss of intellectual property rights using a Partnership Treaty and the Australian government was forced to pay millions in compensation. They will be far more wary in legislating on health and safety measures where big commercial interests are involved. The prospects for any left of centre parties in Britain, or Europe for the future would look bleak. I don’t want to live in a society of unrestrained market capitalism and much prefer the social democracy of Europe, with a care for the welfare of all the people. If this Trade Partnership is introduced I, like many others, will unwillingly end up voting for withdrawal in a referendum. I will no longer have any trust in the Eurocrats or European institutions. Is the Liberal Party aware of this Treaty and its implications, and if so what is its response? You should at least be concerned by the loss of democracy and in particular democratic control of health and welfare policy.
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