Thank you for getting in touch with me about TTIP and the Pirate Party’s response to it.
As a party we have been consistent and vocal in our opposition to TTIP for well over a year now – it was one of the planks of our European Campaign last May. You can see our Campaign page on it here: https://www.pirateparty.org.uk/campaigns/issues/ttip-trading-away-our-rights This is how you can be sure that our opposition is genuine, principled and long-term.
In our opinion, the fundamental and underlying issue with TTIP is the way in which it is being negotiated in secret – it is this lack of transparency that is in total contrast to the Pirate Party principle of openness in government.
It is this lack of transparency that has made it hard for anyone – where-ever they are on the political spectrum – to be able to analyse and critique the actual effects and consequences of the deal.
As individuals and consumers we are simply told that ‘it will be massively beneficial’ and to trust the politicians negotiating it. Meanwhile however, lobbyists from multi-national corporations get to be involved in discussions whereas we are required to depend on news from ‘leaks’ to even have an idea of what the consequences might be.
In addition to doing what I can to Stop TTIP in its current form, I would also seek to change the manner in which trade deals such as this are negotiated. I would
• Demand more openness when trade agreements are negotiated
• Require comprehensive access to information and public hearings
• Ensure that respect for self determination and privacy are included
• Require that the interests of citizens and small and medium-sized enterprises are be taken into account
As you say, this agreement could make it impossible to reverse privatisation in the NHS. Others may write to you to say that WTO and GATS agreements mean this is not the case. But because this treaty is being negotiated behind closed doors, we can not know that.
Others will tell you that TTIP will bring us trade benefits by removing regulation. But one person’s regulation is another’s protection. For example the US has a very different view on the use of asbestos. See Friends of the Earth’s article:
In terms of action, this has to happen at the national level and the EU level.
I can assure you as an MP I would not accept or support any agreement that would make it possible to sue our government for protecting workers, public services and the environment, or for following the democratic will of the people. This is what ISDS opens up.
On an EU level the Pirate Party has representation, so I would be happy to work with our international colleagues to protect you, and all of us.
Also we will be highlighting this issue in the election campaign and beyond. Sometimes these can be difficult subjects to put across, international agreements are notoriously complex. But we can win. The Pirate Party movement had significant success opposing ACTA, another international trade agreement which threatened everything from the digital economy to fair prices for pharmaceuticals.
I hope that you have found this response helpful and informative, but naturally if you have any further questions on this or any other issue then please do get in touch. You can e-mail me, tweet me on @Pirate_Lennon – or follow what we are doing and saying on our website
This was originally written as a response to a number of inquiries from various potential constituents expressing concern about TTIP and asking what the Pirate Party would do.
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