Corporations WILL be taking YOUR PENSION fund unless you act TODAY…

jonathan-l-davey-interviewed-by-gordon-radley

Next month the European Union will vote on the TTIP – Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership and if they vote YES then your pension is dust…

Basic economics means you have to generate a positive income to be able to give it away. Big companies currently dodge tax if they can so minimising what goes into the UK community pot. If they get TTIP signed off then they can sue the government for money on a whim, “granting corporations judicial privileges to sue governments over actions that could or would lower their profits, forecasts and interfere with their investments.” Eating away at any money there is in the communal pot which will mean that ultimately, there will be no money left in the UK Treasury to give you your pension.

Have a listen to this older chap, talking about the Pacific treaty, same idea just a different pond.


 
Then view this short video put together by 38 Degrees…


 
I wrote an email to Adam Afriyie MP for Windsor on 4th July 2014 sharing with him this blog and asking him for his thoughts on TTIP.

http://theberkshireblog.com/2014/07/04/us-frackers-to-sue-uk-government-for-millions/

He wrote back on the 9th July 2014 saying “For me, one of the signs of our civilisation is our desire to live by the rule of law and the international regulations and agreements we sign up for. On balance I think this is the correct approach and emphasises the need for us to scrutinize agreements and negotiate very carefully to try to avoid some of the unintended consequences to which you allude.” He also wrote, “Government Ministers have said that there is nothing in this proposed agreement that would weaken environmental regulation, lead to privatisation of the NHS or allow private companies to overturn the laws made by democratically elected governments.”

windsor hustings all saints church adam afriyie conservative who am i

Now I trust Adam and will be asking him for his current stance by way of sending him a link to this blog post to which I hope he responds below. But as for Ministers… who are these anonymous people on whose information the MPs base their decisions… are they working on secondment from G4S?

Any corporation, by nature, given a licence to invoice to the maximum will do so. In the NHS today because of the hospital agreements that have been signed, I’m told it costs £150 to change a single light bulb… great recommendation Mr Anonymous Minister… and who is picking up the tab? You are…

So do you want more corporations sucking your pension pot away or would you rather we still had a welfare state to help those in need. Are you bored of benefit scroungers and the immigrants taking your money? My guess is they take 1% of 1% of 1% of what the corporations will take if the agreement is ratified and allowed to proceed. Is your cash under the bed big enough to sustain such an onslaught… how big is BIG ENOUGH? Think on before you do nothing and just let another key moment in time pass you by… I know, it’s Saturday and you’ve got golf in 20 minutes… but for how much longer will you be able to afford the annual subs?

stop-TTIP

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

First step is simple… sign the petitions…

Sign here: http://action.sumofus.org/a/stop-ttip-eci/

And here: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/

And send an email to your MP and your MEPs asking them to vote NO… send them these words below… also ask them how they plan to vote… ask them by email… in person… by Twitter… ask them every way you can so they are sure to have heard you.

“We call on the institutions of the European Union and its member states to stop the negotiations with the USA on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and not to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada.
We want to prevent TTIP and CETA because they include several critical issues such as investor-state dispute settlement and rules on regulatory cooperation that pose a threat to democracy and the rule of law. We want to prevent lowering of standards concerning employment, social, environmental, privacy and consumers and the deregulation of public services (such as water) and cultural assets from being deregulated in non-transparent negotiations. The ECI supports an alternative trade and investment policy in the EU.”

Contact your MEP here… I’ve found the 10 for the South East and added their contact details below to make your life so easy 😉

Set your Twitter alarm for Tuesday’s #ttiptuesday
@AdamAfriyie @RichardAshMEP @catherinemep @AnnelieseDodds @Nigel_Farage @raymondfinch @DanHannanMEP @DianeJamesMEP @GreenKeithMEP

Go make sure your MEPs know you exist on this here planet…

Thank you.

Jon

Richard ASHWORTHRichard ASHWORTH
European Conservatives and Reformists Group
United Kingdom Conservative Party
5 Hazelgrove Road
Haywards Heath
West Sussex RH16 3PH
EU Office: +32 22 845 309

01444 474858
richardjames.ashworth@ep.europa.eu
Biographical details

Janice ATKINSONYou might struggle getting hold of Janice… something to do with one of her people pushing the expenses… what’s wrong with these people?
Janice ATKINSON
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group
United Kingdom United Kingdom Independence Party
1 West Terrace
Folkestone
Kent
CT20 1RR

00 322 284 5537
janice.atkinson@ep.europa.eu
www.janiceatkinson.co.uk
Biographical details

Catherine BEARDER

Catherine BEARDER
Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
United Kingdom Liberal Democrats
27 Park End Street
Oxford OX1 1HU
EU Office: +32 22 845 632
catherine.bearder@europarl.europa.eu

01865 249838
catherine@bearder.eu
www.bearder.eu
Biographical details

Anneliese DODDSAnneliese DODDS
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
United Kingdom Labour Party
Unit A Bishops Mews,
Transport Way,
Oxford, OX4 6HD

01865 598900
Contact@AnnelieseDoddsMEP.uk
www.anneliesedoddsmep.uk
Biographical details

Nigel FARAGENigel FARAGE
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group
United Kingdom Independence Party
The Old Grain Store
Church Lane
Lyminster
Nr. Littlehampton
West Sussex BN17 7QJ
EU Office: +32 22 845 855

01903 885573
nigel.farage@ep.europa.eu
www.nigelfaragemep.co.uk
Biographical details

Raymond FINCHRaymond FINCH
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group
United Kingdom Independence Party
The Old Grain Store
Church Lane
Lyminster
Nr. Littlehampton
West Sussex BN17 7QJ

01903 885573
raymond.finch@ep.europa.eu
Biographical details

Daniel HANNANDaniel HANNAN
European Conservatives and Reformists Group
United Kingdom Conservative Party
P O Box 99
Hassocks
BN6 0DY
EU Office: +32 22 845 137

00 322 284 5137
daniel.hannan@ep.europa.eu
www.hannan.co.uk
Biographical details

Diane JAMESDiane JAMES
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group
United Kingdom Independence Party
1st Floor, 86 South Street
Dorking
Surrey
RH4 2EW

01306 770535
diane.james@ep.europa.eu
www.dianejames.info
Biographical details

Keith TAYLORKeith TAYLOR
Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
United Kingdom Green
Office of the Green MEPs
CAN Mezzanine
49 – 51 East Road
London. N1 6AH
EU Office: +32 22 845 153
keith.taylor@europarl.europa.eu

0207 250 8415
keithtaylor@greenmeps.org.uk
www.keithtaylormep.org.uk
Biographical details

Nirj DEVANirj DEVA
European Conservatives and Reformists Group
United Kingdom Conservative Party
00 322 284 7245
nirj.deva@ep.europa.eu
Biographical details

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12 thoughts on “Corporations WILL be taking YOUR PENSION fund unless you act TODAY…

  1. Great Blog alert, Jon. I’ve signed both petitions and written to all 10 MEPs.

    Thanks for flagging it so urgently,

    Adrian

    Like

  2. Thank you Adrian… I have had some replies… was hoping they would post directly on the blog but maybe that’s a step too far… going to ask each if they mind me adding their responses in full to the page to speed things along a bit…

    Like

  3. From Nigel Farage…

    Dear Jon Davey

    Thank you for your email to Mr Farage regarding your concerns on TTIP. I’m sorry that it has taken longer than we would have wished to reply.

    At present we do not know the full details of TTIP. There has been much speculation as to what it will include, yet, as you are aware, negotiations are being held – quite shamefully – in secret. There have been some leaks and promises of more information but it is difficult to comment on it in any detail at the moment. Astonishingly, MEPs have no power to make amendments to any agreement the EU makes on international trade, nor does our elected UK government.

    The EU Commission is the only body that can; initiate new EU laws, begin repeal of or start any amendment to EU laws, or negotiate trade agreements. The EU Commissioners are not elected, but appointed. MPs and MEPs have no binding way to force the Commission to do anything it doesn’t want to do. So, when an EU law passes there is nothing a voter can do to change it. In a normal democracy, if you don’t like a law or a set of politicians, every 5 years or so everyone gets to vote for someone else who can change the law. This doesn’t happen in the EU because the elected MEPs don’t have those powers.

    What I can assure you is that, as our Health Spokesman Louise Bours confirmed during her presentation to the UKIP party conference, UKIP will fight to exclude the NHS from inclusion within the TTIP agreement. If it is not excluded, then you can be sure we will be voting against it.

    You can watch Louise’s speech in full here…

    And the speech by our International Trade Spokesman, William Dartmouth here…

    and thoughts from Douglas Carswell here…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/11210662/Britain-doesnt-need-to-be-in-Europe-to-strike-important-trade-deals.html

    Regarding ISDS specifically: Britain is already a beneficiary of direct foreign investment from the USA and obviously we have a long history of commercial relationships with America. So, the question has to be asked: why would it be necessary to add an investor/state dispute mechanism into TTIP?

    The answer lies in the independence of the Judiciary. This indpendence is clear-cut in Britain but not, unfortunately in other EU member states. Some other states have traditionally had (and continue to have) a great deal of political interference in their Judiciary and this is one reason why these countries have not previously had the foreign investment they might have had. Investors hate uncertainty and I think it is not unreasonable to assume the Americans might insist this clause be inserted because they cannot be certain the judicial systems of these EU member states can be trusted to be impartial.

    This is the problem Britain comes up against again and again as a member of the EU. We can no longer negotiate trade agreements on our own behalf, but must pass full responsibility over to the Trade Commissioner (currently a Belgian) who negotiates on behalf of ALL 28 member states. How can Britain possibly have her best interests represented under such conditions?

    Although UKIP is very much in favour of free trade, and wants the UK to trade globally, the EU is not a free trade area but a Custom’s Union which prevents member states from signing their own trade agreements.

    When the UK leaves the EU it will be able to sign its own trade agreements and regain its seat as a full voting member of the World Trade Organisation, rather than having its trade policy decided wholly by the EU. It should be the UK rather than the EU making free trade deals, and if that were the case there would be no need for an ISDS clause.

    Finally, I would just like to point out that at present Britain has either no or very little influence over such issues as environmental standards, employment standards, food safety, consumer protection and banking regulations, as these are all areas controlled by the EU.

    Kind regards,

    Benjamin Wrench

    The office of Nigel Farage, Brussels
    UK Independence Party (UKIP) / EFDD Group

    http://www.ukipmeps.org http://www.efdgroup.eu

    Like

  4. From Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England:

    “Thanks to the continued efforts of campaign groups Global Justice Now, War on Want and journalists such as George Monbiot among others, public awareness of the risks of TTIP is quickly growing. Perhaps the most threatening and controversial proposal within the deal is the ISDS. This measure would allow corporations to sue Governments via secret tribunals (made up of corporate lawyers) if a Government takes action which a corporation can prove limits their profits.

    However, analysts are now predicting that ISDS is no longer so popular with EU member states after an EU commission consultation resulted in 97% of people opposing its inclusion. Last month the Dutch Parliament adopted a resolution to reject ISDS from TTIP. This is all important because we know that the USA have said they won’t sign-up to a deal without ISDS which means the entire deal is under threat. Syriza in Greece have the power to derail it further.

    It feels like the tide is beginning to change on TTIP. There’s a long way to go yet but I remain very hopeful that the more the public find out the less likely a successful deal becomes.

    In spite of demands for exclusion of public services from TTIP by the Greens, under the Tory, and probably a Labour Government, some previously nationally owned health services could be opened to competition as they are no longer public. Only Greens would keep health services truly public and keep them out of TTIP.”

    Like

  5. So far 3 UKIP MEPs @Nigel_Farage @DianeJamesMEP and Janice Atkinson and our Green chap @GreenKeithMEP have taken time to respond to this enquiry. Would be nice to hear the Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour attitudes towards this @AdamAfriyie @RichardAshMEP @catherinemep @AnnelieseDodds @raymondfinch @DanHannanMEP

    Like

  6. Daniel Hannan replied

    Dear Jonathan,

    Thank you for your reminder of last week about TTIP. My views on the matter are the following:

    I am always and everywhere in favour of free trade: it has lifted our species to an unprecedented standard of living and rescued billions from poverty.

    That said, TTIP is being oversold. Whole areas have been excluded a priori. For example, at French insistence, the audio-visual sector cannot form part of the negotiations – yet Hollywood is, on some measures, the US’s second most valuable export.

    In other areas, the risk is that, instead of liberalisation, we will see the harmonisation of standards – taking the worst of EU and US regulations and putting them together. This is, broadly speaking, why the EU model is less attractive than the ASEAN or NAFTA model; unlike them, it busies itself with behind border issues.

    If Britain were not in the EU, and therefore not bound by the Common External Tariff, we would have negotiated a bilateral FTA with the United States decades ago. Instead, we are obliged to take a common position informed by the protectionism of Italian textile firms, French farms etc. I’d much rather be in that position today.

    If we remain in the EU, though, I’ll have to take a final view on TTIP when I see the eventual deal.

    Yours sincerely,

    Daniel Hannan
    MEP for South East England

    Like

  7. Just read this… TTIP in action…

    http://action.sumofus.org/a/oceanagold-world-bank-tribunal/

    This is a matter of mining versus life.

    In a matter of weeks, the World Bank could decide whether the tiny Central American nation of El Salvador will have to dish out millions of dollars to mining giant OceanaGold for rejecting its proposed gold mine.

    90% of El Salvador’s water is contaminated already. And OceanaGold’s mine would ruin the country’s last remaining clean water.

    El Salvador has the right to reject the mine to protect its water and people. But now, the Canadian-Australian company is suing El Salvador for a whopping $301 million in a World Bank tribunal, under investor laws that allow corporations to shamelessly sue countries.

    The World Bank tribunal is due to make a decision soon. As a public international institution, it is susceptible to public pressure. If we’re going to get it to throw out this case, we need to stand together and show how deeply unpopular this case is.

    Sign the petition telling the World Bank to throw out OceanaGold’s case!

    Like

  8. Dear Mr Davey,

    Thank you for your email about the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

    I support creating a free trade agreement between the US and the European Union (EU), especially as the estimated benefits to both the EU and US economies are significant. Currently, the US is the biggest export destination for UK small businesses, with over half of all small exporting firms doing business there. However, there are barriers to trade between the EU and the US, such as tariffs or different standards and regulations that can make it difficult for small companies to expand their businesses across the Atlantic. Independent research shows that TTIP could boost the EU’s economy by 120 billion euros and it could be worth an extra £10 billion to the UK economy each year, and be the biggest free trade agreement in history.

    Though there are genuine concerns about the potential TTIP agreement, although I believe some of the criticisms of TTIP have been excessive and not based on the facts. That is why I have signed several amendments on TTIP that should be debated and voted on soon, to ensure that TTIP is agreed but reformed along the way.

    I am particularly concerned about the proposed Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism (ISDS), I think that ISDS in its current form is seriously flawed. As has been seen in past agreements, secretive tribunals using private arbitration give too much power to multinational corporations and undermine the democratic process. At the same time, UK businesses do need some form of protection from arbitrary decisions by foreign governments when they invest overseas, including in the US where legal systems and vary from state to state. That is why I will be voting to get rid of the flawed ISDS with the aim of replacing it with a new form of investor protection, one that protects the investments of companies overseas but in a fair and transparent way.

    I want to see private arbitration scrapped not only from the ongoing TTIP negotiations, but from all trade deals around the world – including those with developing countries where it has been abused in the past. Many countries in the world are already turning against ISDS. I believe the EU should lead the way in replacing this flawed system with a public, International Investment Court, dragging these secretive decisions into the open and ensuring judges are appointed independently.

    Regarding how TTIP would impact public services, the EU Trade Commissioner and lead negotiator, Cecilia Malmstrom has stated that health services will not be affected by TTIP and that the UK will be free to protect their public services. I understand that there is nothing in TTIP that will prevent an outsourced public service from being brought back into the public sector, meaning that the current TTIP arrangements would allow NHS privatised contracts to be brought back in house in future. To reinforce this position, one of the amendments I am supporting is to ensure there is an adequate carve-out of sensitive services such as public services and public utilities allowing national and local authorities enough room for manoeuvre to legislate in the public interest.

    Finally, Commissioner Malmstrom has also said that TTIP will not lower the EU’s high consumer, environmental and safety standards and that the precautionary principle will stay fundamental in EU law.

    I hope this response explains my views on TTIP. As you may know, the European Parliament was due to vote on TTIP on Wednesday 10th June, however this vote has been postponed. With more than 200 amendments and many requests for split or separate votes, the parliamentary authorities have decided to send the TTIP report back to the Trade Committee to debate and complete the report. Please see my website (www.bearder.eu) for further updates about TTIP or other European issues.

    Please feel free to contact me again about this or any other European matter in the future.

    Yours sincerely,

    Catherine Bearder MEP

    Liberal Democrat member of the European Parliament for the South East of England
    Constituency Office
    27 Park End Street
    Oxford
    OX1 1HU
    +44 1865 249838
    http://www.bearder.eu

    Like

  9. Thank you for your email to Richard Ashworth MEP regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

    The vote that was scheduled for 10th June has since been postponed due to a UKIP-Left wing coalition that prevented your MEPs from debating and voting on TTIP in the plenary session.

    If you would like to know Mr Ashworth’s position on TTIP, please see his statement below.

    For further information on TTIP, please go to http://www.ttipunpacked.org/

    Kind Regards,

    Claire

    Claire Williams
    Parliamentary Assistant to Richard Ashworth MEP
    Conservative MEP for South East England

    Many of my constituents in the South-East have contacted me regarding TTIP and so I have decided to make my position clear to all. The vote that was scheduled for the plenary session on the 10th June has been postponed until further notice.

    In summary:
    TTIP is still being negotiated
    TTIP will not change the way the NHS is run
    TTIP will not lower EU standards
    TTIP will not undermine UK sovereignty
    TTIP will be subject to democratic scrutiny

    TTIP Background and Benefits
    First please allow me the opportunity to explain some background to these on-going negotiations.

    The European Union and United States are each other’s main trading partners and enjoy the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world. Transatlantic trade flows averaged $4 billion each day through the first three quarters of 2011. Transatlantic investment exceeded $3 trillion in 2010. EU/US combined economies account for nearly 60 % of global GDP, 33 % of world trade in goods and 42 % of world trade in services. Both partners make up for more than half of foreign direct investment in each other’s economy.

    However, for all its value and importance, the EU-US trading relationship still suffers from numerous obstacles, preventing it reaching its full potential to provide growth and jobs. Estimates show that a comprehensive TTIP would benefit the EU to the tune of €120bn (that is an extra £433 in disposable income per year for a family of four). This is the best value stimulus that Europe can afford.

    The aim TTIP is to increase trade and investment between the EU and the US. We seek to make it easier for British businesses to sell products in the USA; while making it easier and cheaper for you to purchase a wider range of goods online. We will achieve this through three pillars:
    Reducing import tariffs (reducing costs to consumers),
    Mutual recognition and regulatory convergence without lowering safety standards,
    Setting global standards for future trade deals with other countries and establishing a common approach to global trade issues.

    Your Conservative MEPs are committed to ensuring that any such trade deal is a balanced and reasonable agreement without sacrificing any EU safety, health, food, social and data protection standards.

    Negotiation Process
    The European Council (including the UK Government) adopted a mandate for negotiations on 14 June 2013. This set the limits within which the Commission can negotiate this deal. Negotiations have been on-going for around 18 months and are likely to continue for at least a similar time period. Once negotiations have concluded the European parliament will then have a final text to consider and vote on.

    Investor to State Dispute Settlement Mechanism (ISDS)
    The negotiating mandate given to the Commission by the Member States (including the UK) contains a request to possibly include an ISDS clause that would allow investors to initiate proceedings directly against the US government should they believe that their property has been expropriated illegally, or if they have been discriminated against by the country in contravention of the commitments contained in TTIP.

    ISDS has been included in many trade agreements and is common to UK investment treaties. There are 3400 such investment agreements in force worldwide The UK has used this system since 1975 and it uses ISDS with over 90 countries; no ISDS challenge has been won against the UK. On the contrary UK investors have brought 43 ISDS claims against other countries to protect their investments. The greatest value for ISDS comes in protecting UK investment in developing countries and by including it in TTIP we will be setting the gold standard for other trade agreements worldwide.

    Prior to ISDS, disputes which could not be resolved by dialogue or in domestic courts either remained not resolved, or required diplomatic action and, in extremis, the threat or use of military force.

    Member States including the UK want to encourage foreign investment and seek the benefits that this brings. It therefore seems right that such investors can rely on nations to act in accordance with the trade agreement. It is akin to a claim for damages where a government unfairly breaches a contract.

    The reason why many people have reservations regarding the inclusion of ISDS is that some claims have been brought recently against other governments for passing laws that were enacted for the public good. I fully understand that ISDS is in need of reform and that there are examples of other treaties globally that have been poorly worded and work must be done to improve it. However, what will be possible under ISDS in TTIP will be dependent on what is agreed upon in the TTIP agreement itself. Your Conservative MEPs want to ensure that any ISDS clause included in TTIP is restricted to prevent frivolous claims and to ensure governments are not prevented from acting in the interest of the public good:
    I am reassured that both the EU and USA are committed to ensuring that legislation reflecting legitimate public choices e.g. on the environment, cannot be undermined through ISDS claims.
    We will not accept ISDS to be used to pursue frivolous claims by companies against governments.
    Furthermore, ISDS will neither allow for private firms to overturn existing laws nor prevents sovereign states from introducing new laws.
    ISDS does not remove the right of nationalisation.

    Following the unprecedented interest shown by citizens in the on-going TTIP talks, with a particular focus on the potential inclusion of ISDS, the former Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, who used to oversee the negotiations on behalf of the EU, suspended talks on the ISDS part of TTIP and opened a public consultation giving people across the EU three months to present their comments, suggestions, concerns and worries. The results of this are currently being analysed and will contribute to the continuing negotiations.

    Your Conservatives MEPs support the inclusion of an ISDS chapter in the agreement, subject to the above conditions, because even with developed countries it ensures certainty for our investors, including SMEs, and will ensure that UK firms are not treated any differently from American firms, pursuant to the U.S. commitments under TTIP.

    NHS
    Let me be clear, TTIP is not intended to open the NHS, or any other European health service, up to competition from American multinationals. All parties involved from the UK, the British Prime Minister, the EU, the USA and other European member states are united in this issue. There is no party seeking to use TTIP to alter the running of the NHS. There is no specific mention of national public health service liberalisation anywhere in the mandate given to the European Commission by the national governments of the EU.

    The EU’s Chief Negotiator on TTIP recently wrote to the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on TTIP (the Rt Hon John Healey MP) to explain that TTIP would not affect the UK Government’s control of the NHS and I attach this letter for your reference.

    As Prime Minister David Cameron recently stated “There’s no threat, I believe, from TTIP to the NHS and we should just knock that on the head as an empty threat”.

    If we look to precedent, the EU usually includes general exceptions in its trade agreements with respect to public services in general and public health in particular , which can legally override any trade obligations. The EU and the US will therefore keep its “policy space” with regards to these matters. In other words governments will retain the ability to legislate in the interests of their citizens as they see fit.

    The recently finalised trade agreement with Canada (CETA) proves a useful precedent in this case. CETA contains an exemption, the “utilities reservation” which includes public health, education, and other public services. This exemption will allow the UK to maintain its public policy in the area of public health, which includes the NHS.

    The Conservatives will instruct the Commission to include similar language in TTIP, so that the UK’s public policies will remain unaffected. It may also be assuring to know that neither the EU-South Korea FTA nor the North American Free Trade Agreement included or resulted in the opening of publicly funded health services.

    Please be assured that the Parliament will have to give its final approval to the deal. Your Conservative MEPs are committed to ensuring TTIP does not threaten the NHS and we are closely monitoring the progress of the negotiations. Should we believe any final agreement threatens the NHS your Conservative MEPs would not support it.

    EU Standards
    TTIP is not about lowering standards on either side of the Atlantic, and the negotiators and all democratically elected EU Member State governments have explicitly said this.

    What TTIP will allow is the potential to harmonise and converge standards, where they have similar outcomes. European business, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are continually held back because US regulatory bodies test products in slightly different ways, even if the same health and safety standards are to be met.

    A prime example is the car industry, where there are high standards on both sides of the Atlantic. Standards bodies are now in talks on the boundaries of the negotiations to come to an agreement on safety aspects such as seat belt fixings, so that testing is not duplicated. This has the potential to save EU and US car manufacturers’ vast amounts of money. There may even be room for future sharing of inspection regimes.

    Agriculture
    As the Conservative spokesman on the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, I want to share a few thoughts on TTIP and how it may impact agriculture.

    However, given the geopolitical situation with the Russian embargo on many agricultural products, a general decline in prices for agricultural produce and the rise in production costs, the EU agricultural sector is in a very serious and concerning situation with many farmers now producing below production costs with nowhere for their produce to go. It is therefore important for the longevity of this sector and to protect European farmers and their family farms by finding new markets for their products. This can only be done by entering into trade deals with third countries. It makes sense therefore to work hard to grasp this opportunity for our farmers by opening up new markets in America for jobs and growth in Europe.

    Transparency
    The negotiations around TTIP have been criticised for lacking transparency and taking place behind closed doors. This is not unusual; trade negotiations require an element of strategy. However we support greater transparency and are keen to ensure that every piece of material which will not negatively prejudice our negotiation position is available to the public.

    I am pleased to see that the European Council (representatives of EU member state governments) has released the mandate that it gave the Commission for these negotiations. I have attached this for your reference. Conservative MEPs support greater transparency and are keen to ensure that every piece of material which will not negatively prejudice our negotiation position is available to the public.

    Democratic Scrutiny
    The final agreement is yet to be written. However, it is likely to be what is called a “mixed agreement”. This means that it will have to be ratified by the UK Parliament.

    A UK All Party Parliamentary Group on TTIP has been set up to close monitor the negotiation process and your Conservative MEPs are part of the European parliament TTIP Monitoring Group which meets before and after each negotiation round to discuss the finer details of developments.

    During each round of negotiations the two chief negotiators meet with stakeholders, such as civil society groups, NGOs, industry representatives, to hear their views as well as to brief them on the developments during the negotiating round. The EU Chief Negotiator briefs the US Monitoring Group of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee before and after each negotiating round.

    A final agreement will need to be ratified by the European council (representatives of EU member state governments). This means the UK Government has a vote and can reject the deal if it is not satisfactory. I and your other elected MEPs will also then have a vote to approve or reject the agreement based on our analysis of the final text.

    Richard Ashworth MEP
    Conservative MEP for South East England

    Like

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