Leaked Information on Negotiations between EU and USA to set up a Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Leaked documents from EU / USA negotiations on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) confirm the dangers threatened to health, environment and safety standards.  The documents are from the twelfth round of negotiations in February 2016 (the thirteenth round concluded in New York on 29 April).  The EU Commission had slapped a thirty year ban on public access to the negotiating texts at the beginning of the talks in 2013, in the full knowledge that they would not be able to survive the outcry if people were given sight of the deal.  In response, campaigners called for a “Dracula strategy” against the agreement: expose the vampire to sunlight and it will die.  The purpose of the two proposed “partnerships,” TTIP and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which were drafted by global corporations, is to make corporations immune to the laws of sovereign countries in which they do business.  Any country’s sovereign law or regulations—whether social, environmental, food safety, or labour protection—that might adversely affect a corporation’s profits is labelled a “restraint on trade.”  The “partnerships” would permit corporations to take legal action to overturn the law or regulation, and. would also award damages to the corporation—paid by the taxpayers of the country that tried to protect its environment or the safety of its food or its workers.  These “trade agreements” originate in the United States, because American global corporations and the American mega-banks are the largest players in the world economy.  The agreements that the corporations push through this process give these companies economic hegemony over the countries that sign the agreements.  The Trans-Atlantic and TransPacific “partnerships” are tools of American financial imperialism.  The highly controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism—and its successor, the Investment Court system—has proved particularly thorny.  The United States wants to keep the arbitration system that allows corporations to sue governments for perceived loss of profits.  The case is not heard in the courts of the country, or in any court: it is heard in a corporate tribunal in which corporations act as prosecutor, judge, and jury.

There are some 51,000 American-owned subsidiaries operating in the EU. About 47,000 of them would be empowered to launch attacks on European policies in international tribunals, according to the anti-poverty charity ‘War on Want’.  German magistrates in February had also declared the new version of the investor court system (ICS), proposed by the EU, to be unlawful.  Concerns about potential effects on food safety standards have plagued TTIP since its inception, notably in discussions on genetically modified organisms.  The EU applies a precautionary approach to GM goods.  Where the EU regulates to protect the public from potential harm, the United States seeks to manage rather than avoid risk.  The EU commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström, described the leaks in her blog as “a storm in a teacup.”  She told the BBC: “I am simply not in the business of lowering standards.”  Some 1,600 cities, municipalities and regions in Europe have already declared themselves TTIP-free zones.  Most of these are in Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. And earlier this month a survey by Yougov suggested that German public support for TTIP had fallen from 55% two years ago to 17%. This news came out before tens of thousands of people in the German city of Hannover marched against the deal during an international trade fair attended by Barack Obama.

See the attached PDF file "TTIP Leaks", below, for full revelation:

Download this file (TTIP Leaks.pdf)TTIP Leaks.pdf[ ]1181 kB

The SNP and Euromove

The SNP, under pressure from the US-created and US financially backed Euromove organisation, has fallen foul of “the EU, right or wrong” ideology, which simply won’t wash in the light of the new and developing system of worldwide interdependence and global governance.

The sub-regional EU did not invent the standards of working conditions that it is by implication claiming. Like so much else in its “legislation” it is simply repeating established international norms that have been handed down to every individual state by institutions higher up the global scale, and are binding on every national government irrespective of the EU. The principal such institution is the United Nations International Labour Organisation, which has been setting the global standards for industrial working conditions since WW1, long before there ever was a European Union. Nowadays a whole list of other institutions at global level are also contributing to these norms.

Furthermore, UK legislation governing working conditions has been in force since 1802, the Factory Inspectorate was set up by the 1833 Factories Act, and this was followed by dozens of acts of parliament that pushed standards up still further, right to the present day. It is pure charlatanry to claim that only the EU stands between workers and oppressive working conditions, for even worse to claim that the EU invented the relevant modern standards. God help us if this is the sort of argument that is going to determine the future of Scotland.

Lastly, there is no such institution as a European Court of Justice. The EU internal arbitration tribunal, despite its euphonious title, covers only EU-internal regulations, but it has no jurisdiction whatever over non-members or over Europe as a whole.


Comment by Dr James Wilkie SDA Honorary Chairman in 'The Flag in the Wind' of 21st April 2016: http://scotsindependent.scot/?p=1343

The Increasing Irrelevance of Continuing EU Membership

The controversial pro-EU leaflet put out by the UK government claims that continued membership of the EU will guarantee a “stronger” and “safer” UK, as if those aspects are the exclusive prerogative of that organisation - the reality could not be more glaringly different:

Improving our lives” - a reference to, as from next year, “roaming charges will be abolished across the EU, saving mobile phone users “up to 38p a minute on calls”. The EU was first asked to abolish roaming charges by a global body, the International Telephone Users Group (INTUG) way back in 1999, but it so dragged its feet that eventually INTUG approached another global body, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  The OECD then involved another global body, the International Telecommunications Union, which used the rules of a fourth, the World Trade Organisation, to ensure that by 2013 roaming charges were being abolished right across the world - with the EU way back at the end of the queue.

Stronger in Europe” - a claim that, if we were to leave the EU, disabled people would somehow lose their rights, but these are enshrined in the 2010 Equality Act, putting into UK law the UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled, which must be implemented by all UN-member states in any case, as the EU itself admits.

Another pro-EU organisation, the BBC, was recently having fun with a lamentably inadequate history of all those long-controversial EU regulations on the length, shape or otherwise of fruit and vegetables, such as cabbages, cucumbers and bananas.  The point it was trying to make was that Brussels had finally recognised these rules as being “a little bit daft”, and so very sensibly repealed them.  But what the BBC failed to tell us was that the reason they were all scrapped was that they have now been replaced by new standards handed down from another global body, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) based in Geneva - not in Brussels.  In many ways UNECE plays a greater part in making our laws than Brussels, over everything from marketing standards to vehicle design.

What everyone on both sides of the IN/OUT campaign has been missing, is the astonishing scale on which the making of our laws has been passed up to a global level, to scores of mysterious organisations which then hand down rulings to be implemented by lesser regional bodies, such as the EU.  Outside of that organisation, both the UK - as well as an independent Scotland! - could, as countries in their own right, directly apply for individual membership of especially the World Trade Organisation, which is already the nearest entity to being a world government.

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