Monday, 15 December 2014

Council motion raised concerns about TTIP

The 'Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership' known as TTIP agreement is currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. A motion proposed by Green Councillors at a Full Council Meeting on 11th December highlighted the effect it will have on local public services. 

This trade deal has been referred to as the biggest bilateral trade deal in history, and has caused widespread controversy, not least because the deal could hand unprecedented powers to corporate investors at the expense of governments in the EU and US.

Among other proposals, the TTIP gives businesses the power to sue governments inclouding local authorities for profits they might have lost as a result of democratic decision-making on standards and safety.

This increases the potential threat of privatisation of public services including the NHS, and established regulations that protect workers, the environment and food would be undermined. US companies will even have the right to sue governments in secret courts if politicians try to reverse privatisation. TTIP is a huge threat to our high standards for the quality and safety of our food. Under the deal, food products allowed in the US, such as chemically-washed poultry, could be sold in the UK - even though it's been previously banned here. 

On both sides of the Atlantic, elected representatives are only allowed limited access to information about the negotiations. However, about 600 ‘corporate advisors’ have gained full access to the details. We are seeking transparency and a halt to negotiations both in the European Parliament and in the UK House of Commons. 

The following motion proposed by myself and Cllr Kieran Wild was agreed on a cross party basis:-

"Council is concerned about the potential implications of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a proposed free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA). This arises due to the implications of TTIP with respect to the city of Glasgow, with regards to impacts on employment, wages, human rights and inequality, as well as environmental effects such as air pollution, food safety, water quality, carbon emissions, waste management, and environmental agreements. It could have implications across the public sector as it may leave public services wide open to further privatisation.

This Council resolves to request the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Business and Skill's expressing its deep concern at the developing TTIP, the secretiveness of its processes and its potential impact on public services, social and environmental protection, financial regulation and basic democratic oversight.

Further to this, Council requests assurances from the Secretary of State that the Government will seek full openess to TTIP position texts and that he will endeavour to ensure access to TTIP documentation and development by the UK public including concerned residents of Glasgow".

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