Sum Of Us | We Can Still Stop CETA






It’s official: the EU and Canada have agreed on the terms of CETA and signed the deal. But it’s not over yet — the European Parliament still has to approve the deal before it comes into effect. We can still stop CETA.

Cut from the same cloth as TTIP, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is an international trade deal that hands over more power to corporations to step all over our environment, workers’ rights, and affordable healthcare.

We know CETA is bad news. It’s why more than 340,000 people filled the streets of cities across Germany and Austria to protest CETA and TTIP in September. So if enough parliamentarians defend the interests of the people they represent, CETA won’t stand a chance. But it’s up to us to make sure our MEPs know we oppose trade deals that put profits over people.

We know that our representatives want to hear from us on CETA. Politicians from Wallonia, a small region in Belgium, were strengthened by the support from people all over the EU and made sure that CETA’s signing was temporarily postponed. Thanks to a huge swell in people power, CETA was suddenly not a done deal. Though Wallonia finally agreed to CETA, their opposition proved that we have the power to derail this trade deal.

CETA still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament and every single EU member state — giving us a great chance to deliver the final blow to this corporate power grab. And if we stop the deal in European Parliament, CETA cannot come into effect — not even provisionally.

Thanks to the generous donations of SumOfUs members like you, we’ve been able to ramp up the fight against CETA. Together with our partners, we are launching the next phase of the CETA Check campaign to make sure as many citizens as possible get in touch with their representatives.

We’ve commissioned a short video — to reach even more people right now. We were also able to team up with partner organisations to start planning a documentary on one of the worst parts of CETA: the rules that allow corporations to sue governments over lost profits.

We can’t underestimate the power we have when we come together to hold our representatives to account. Together we’ve brought TTIP to the brink of failure. It’s time we do the same to CETA.

Telling your Member of Parliament to vote against CETA is our best chance to stop the dangerous trade deal altogether. Act now to stop CETA.

More information: 
In Parliament this week: Ceta, data protection, drones, European Parliament News, 7 November, 2016.

Ceta: EU and Canada sign long-delayed free trade deal, BBC, 30 October, 2016.


Global Justice Now | Ask your MP to oppose toxic EU-Canada deal


Ask your MP to oppose toxic EU-Canada deal

Say no to CETA

A trade deal as dangerous as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP] has been agreed between the EU and Canada, and is about to come into force.

The EU commission is trying to fast-track this deal so it becomes law before Parliament has scrutinised it in Westminster. We need stop this happening to avoid serious consequences for our democracy and public services.

Please email your MP now.


Just like TTIP, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement [CETA] will give corporations new powers to sue governments through special corporate courts. And even if the British parliament rejects CETA, these corporate courts could remain active for several years.

CETA’s 1,600 pages show us that it’s a threat not only to our food standards, but also to the battle against climate change, our ability to regulate big banks to prevent another crash and our power to renationalise industries. 

Public services are particularly at risk because the deal will make it more difficult for future governments, national and local, to prevent Canadian companies from taking over public services in the EU.


CETA has already been agreed by the European commission and the Canadian government and it now awaits ratification over the next 12 months.

We believe CETA should be stopped. But it’s a race against the clock.

CETA could take effect in Britain early next year without a Westminster vote. We could face a ‘corporate court’ case from Canadian multinationals before our parliament has had the chance to agree to the deal – or throw it out.

Email your MP and get them to sign Early Day Motion 165 on CETA.


38 Degrees | Merci Wallonia!






Dear Paul,

The dodgy trade deal known as CETA has been blocked! [1] The deal was due to be signed this Thursday. [2] But yesterday, the parliament of Wallonia, part of Belgium, refused to sign. Instead, they sided with millions of us across Europe – a huge, people-powered roadblock.

It’s a plucky move to stand up for democracy in the face of corporate and EU Goliaths. The Walloons are blocking CETA because the deal could allow banned chemicals into our food and let big business sue our government in secret courts. [3] Here in the UK, the worst bits of CETA would still apply for 20 years after we leave the EU. [4]

The Walloons are the only parliament listening to their people on CETA. And they’re under HUGE pressure to crack. So let’s send them a big people-powered message of support, showing them they’re not alone against CETA. It will help give them the strength to hold firm as pressure is piled on them to sign this dodgy deal.

Here’s what the thank you message says (it will be translated into French):

We are UK citizens. We want to say a big thank you to the citizens of Wallonia, for having blocked CETA – the dangerous Canada-EU trade deal. Millions of people all across Europe support what you’re doing.


If we reach 100,000 signatures by tomorrow, we’ll deliver the message straight to the Embassy, and buy thank you messages in local Walloon newspapers.

Please can you sign the thank you letter to Wallonia? Click here to add your name with one click

CETA contains all the worst bits of its copycat cousin, the TTIP trade deal. The deal would undermine our environmental standards, our food standards, and local identities – even the ‘protected’ Cornish pasty is not safe from CETA! The deal would allow Canadian corporations to make our famous dishes, with banned ingredients, and sell them as ‘locally produced’ goods. [5]

Here’s what Belgium’s Walloon regional president had to say about blocking the deal:

‘We are not against a treaty with Canada. But we won’t have one that jeopardizes social and environmental standards and the protection of public services’ [6]

38 Degrees members voted in our thousands to say that after Brexit, Britain should negotiate trade deals that put people, not big business, first. [7] CETA would lock the UK into one of the very worst kind of trade deals. So we owe the Walloons a thank you!

Thanks for being involved,

Bex, David, Luke, Robin and the 38 Degrees team

[1] BBC News: Belgium Walloons block key EU Ceta trade deal with Canada:

[2] ITV News: Canada and EU on verge of signing trade deal after emergency talks:

[3] Here’s six reasons why CETA is almost a carbon copy of TTIP, another dangerous trade deal:

1. It contains many of the same dodgy terms, like allowing corporations to sue our governments if our policies and regulations dare interfere with their profits.
2. 80% of American companies have an arm in Canada, so this deal is TTIP by stealth. Those companies could start lawsuits against our government at the taxpayers’ expense.
3. Experts are warning CETA threatens regulations that protect our environment, food production, and access to affordable medicines.
4. Like TTIP, it’s designed to encourage privatisation wherever possible – in our healthcare, energy, water and transport.
5. Worst of all, if CETA passes easily it basically lays out a clearer path for TTIP to pass too.
6. The EU has quietly asked Canada to rework some of the thorniest bits of CETA – such as corporate courts – because officials are worried that public opposition is growing.

This is a good explanation of the story on CETA so far, and what the worst bits of the deal are.
War on Want: What is CETA?

Here’s another good guide to what’s in CETA:
Global Justice Now: What is CETA?

[4] Politics: The Canadian trade deal which will let in TTIP by the back door:

Clientearth Law Firm: Joint analysis of CETA’s Investment Court System (ICS) – Prioritising Private Investment over Public Interest:

Global Justice Now: Expert opinion concludes that CETA could bind UK for 20 years after Brexit:

[5] War on Want: CETA puts your food safety at risk:

[6] RT: Belgium’s Wallonia rejects ‘undemocratic’ EU ultimatum on CETA:

[7] 38 Degrees: DIY Brexit results, trade section:

Canadian TTIP deal is on the ropes – MEPs listened to you!


Canadian TTIP deal is on the ropes – MEPs listened to you!

Last week was full of successes in our fight against the toxic trade deals set to undermine our democracy. UK parliamentarians listened to your concerns and spoke out in Brussels.

Across Europe, politicians sounded the death knell for hated EU-US deal TTIP. In Germany, France and Austria, leaders all ‘spoke out against the deal. *

Your MEPs are listening – tell them that now is the time to kill off TTIP and CETA for good!

CETA is no different from TTIP. It champions the same agenda of deregulation, privatisation and ‘corporate courts’, all with the same aim – big business profits, whatever the cost to people and planet. Worst of all, under CETA, the UK could be sued in CETA’s corporate courts up to 20 years after Brexit.

At last week’s European Parliament trade committee meeting, UK MEPs highlighted that they have repeatedly heard concerns about CETA from their constituents. The MEPs said they are worried about CETA’s:

  • agenda for workers’ rights, public services, and its proposed ISDS ‘corporate courts’
  • failure to meet five European Parliament conditions for ISDS ‘corporate courts’
  • strong rights for investors, but weak rights for workers – an “inequality” in trade deals that must be addressed.

Trade deals like TTIP and CETA do more harm than good to Europe.

Your MEPs are listening – tell them that now is the time to kill off TTIP and CETA for good!

* But as we explained on, this about-face is connected to their desire to push through EU-Canada deal, CETA.

War on Want  have prepared the following message to send:

Dear Member of the European Parliament,

I write to you to ask that you commit to oppose EU-US trade deal the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and EU-Canada deal the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

TTIP is opposed across Europe – by a huge number of the public, by civil society organisations and by elected politicians. It is clear that TTIP will not be passed this year and that, in the words of French trade minister Mathias Fekl, negotiations started “in a spirit of opacity”.

We believe that Mr Fekl is correct in his demand that negotiations on TTIP must be stopped. Indeed, this is the call from more than 3.4 million people across Europe who demand an immediate end to negotiations on both TTIP and CETA.

As UK Labour MEPs warned the INTA committee of the European Parliament on August 31, they have concerns around CETA’s agenda for workers’ rights, public services and its proposed ‘Investor Court System’ (ICS). Additionally, they highlighted their belief that ICS fails to meet the European Parliament’s five conditions for investor-state dispute settlement, determined for the Parliament’s TTIP resolution in 2015.

To date, there has been no impact assessment of this huge trade deal which will affect everything from jobs to food safety rules, and the importing of high-polluting tar sands oil. Additionally, the European Parliament’s many committees – which cover issues of direct relevance for CETA, from agriculture, to the environment and legal affairs – have not provided any expert opinion on the deal.

I join with the millions across Europe who call for an immediate end to negotiations on TTIP and CETA – and the 240 civil society organisations who have already called on the European Council to withdraw the mandate for the European Commission to negotiate TTIP, with immediate effect.

Trade must not jeopardise our ability to craft strong social, health and environmental protection rules; it must protect our ability to provide public services; and it must not create privileged rights for investors which supersede a state’s ability to act in the public interest. Critically, trade deals must be negotiated and approved in line with the highest democratic standards of accountability and transparency.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Bull

TTIP | E-mail your MP NOW!

TTIP chalk


Later today, MPs are going to debate TTIP, the dodgy trade deal between the EU and US. [1]

There is a rare opportunity for us to make sure our MPs speak out against the deal in front of the government Minister responsible. Together, we can make sure our MPs, and the government, know that we’re still against TTIP.

TTIP is a danger to our way of life; it could affect our NHS, our environment and our democracy. Under TTIP, corporations could get the right to sue us if they don’t like our laws. [2]

Thursday’s debate has been called by a cross-party group of MPs who think parliament should have more of a say on TTIP – even MPs think the deal is too secretive! [3] Officials and diplomats across Europe and the US are likely to be watching closely. Together, we can show them that when David Cameron says he wants to put ‘rocket boosters’ under TTIP, he doesn’t speak for us. [4] If we can persuade enough MPs to turn up and voice concerns about TTIP, it could really rock the boat.

Just this summer, 38 Degrees members and other campaigners persuaded over half of UK MEPs (our politicians in the European Parliament) to oppose TTIP. [5] But we need to make sure MPs feel the heat too – and that means making sure they know we want them to speak up on our behalf at every opportunity. When we come together as a force, we can take on enormous challenges: the stakes are high with TTIP, so we need to do everything we can to stop this dodgy deal.

Picture this: At the debate, a stream of MPs take to their feet to tell the government that they’ve been inundated with emails from their constituents and the message is loud and clear – we oppose TTIP. The government will be left in no doubt that we see the deal for what it is: a sinister corporate power grab and a threat to our democracy.

But this all hinges on our MPs hearing from us. They need to know why TTIP is bad, and that we expect them to show up and represent our views. It only takes two minutes, so will you email your MP now?

Will you email your MP asking them to speak out, on your behalf, against TTIP? There’s some suggested text that you can use, so it’ll only take 2 minutes to send the email:

Will you email your MP now? It only takes 2 minutes
Tell your MP: oppose TTIP at Thursday’s debate

Thanks for being involved,

Amy, Rachel, Megan, Blanche and the 38 Degrees team

[1] This last-minute debate has been called by Geraint Davies, Zac Goldsmith and Caroline Lucas. They want MPs to be able to properly scrutinise TTIP.

We know that the more people know about this dodgy deal, the more likely they are to turn against it, so more scrutiny of TTIP can only be a good thing for our campaign to scrap it.

The debate is a backbench business debate, which is a chance for some MPs to call for a debate on an issue they care about or want extra scrutiny on.

Parliament UK: How the Backbench Business Committee works:

[2] TTIP will affect every aspect of our lives, from the NHS to democracy. It:

  • Threatens our public services
  • Transfers powers to big businesses and away from us
  • Weakens our safety standards
  • Lets huge corporations sue governments over regulations they don’t like
  • Weakens our employment rights

38 Degrees: The campaign against TTIP:

Information on TTIP:

The Independent: What is TTIP? And six reasons why the answer should scare you:

[3] Geraint Davies MP (Labour), Zac Goldsmith MP (Conservative) and Caroline Lucas MP (Green) have put forward the debate together.

[4] The Independent: G20 summit: Cameron promises to fire ‘rocket boosters’ under controversial EU-US TTIP trade deal:

[5] TTIP: people power is working:

Here’s my e-mail to Ben Bradshaw MP:

Dear Ben Bradshaw,

I hear there is a debate on TTIP happening in Parliament on Thursday. Please can you assure me that you will attend and voice your opposition to this dangerous deal?

David Cameron says he wants to put ‘rocket boosters’ under TTIP, but he doesn’t speak for me, hundreds more of your constituents, or hundreds and thousands of people across the UK. I think this is an important issue and as my MP I’d like you to take part in this debate.

In its current form, TTIP threatens our democracy because it:
– allows multi-national corporations to sue governments over policies they don’t like;
– puts US firms’ profits ahead of our safety regulations gives corporations more power over our lives;
– threatens the NHS by “opening it up to competition”;
– prevent consideration of environmental and social
factors when awarding contracts; and
– undermine any local authority that makes a decision to take services back under public control

More information about TTIP, and the dangers it poses, here:

Yours sincerely,

Paul Bull
5 Cranbrook Road

TUC briefing on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (#TTIP)


Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)


The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and USA has been in negotiation for two years.  While negotiators on both sides spoke hopefully of concluding talks quickly, it looks likely that talks will continue into 2016 and beyond as the US election adds delays.

Much of the content of TTIP has yet to be discussed.  TTIP will be affected by the final shape of the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA), as this is being used as a template for negotiations, but the content of this agreement is also in flux.  CETA was finalised in 2013 but has yet to be ratified by the European or national parliaments.  It may come before the European Parliament as early as the first half of 2016.

TUC key concerns with TTIP

On 10 September 2014, TUC Congress passed a composite motion which stated that ‘while there may be economic benefits in reducing trade tariffs and reviewing regulation for certain industrial sectors, Congress believes that the primary purpose of TTIP is to extend corporate investor rights’ and thus adopted a position of ‘outright opposition’ to TTIP.[1]

1.  Investor-State Dispute Settlement

The TUC believes Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is unacceptable in TTIP and any trade deal as it gives foreign investors the right to a special international court system to sue countries for compensation if they believe a policy would endanger their future profits. ISDS has been used on numerous occasions to overturn legitimate public policy and has had a ‘chilling effect’ on the introduction of new policies. This was the case in New Zealand where the government dropped plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes due to fears of litigation after Philip Morris sued Australia for similar legislation through the ISDS clause in the Hong Kong-Australia Bilateral Investment Treaty.

The provisions on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) will be discussed at the next negotiating round in October.  The EU trade Commissioner stated in July[2]  that these discussions would advance the proposals she announced in March for a slightly reformed version of ISDS.[3]  The TUC is opposed to this reformed version of ISDS as we are opposed to all forms of special courts for foreign investors in trade agreements as they provide a privileged route for investors to seek compensation from governments if they believe a policy would endanger their future profits.[4]

Criticism of the ISDS provisions in CETA by the German, French and Greek governments as well as the Socialists and Democrats group[5] in the European Parliament, among others, raises the possibility that the Investment chapter of CETA, and perhaps other parts of the deal, will be reopened for negotiation in the near future.

2.  Public services

TTIP poses a threat to the National Health Service and the public sector that may be opened up to the privatisation through the ‘negative list’ approaches to service commitments taken in the deal.[6] This approach means that all services are open to further privatisation unless they are explicitly exempted.  In September 2014 the UK government confirmed that it has requested no explicit exemption for the NHS or public services in TTIP. This would mean that the privatisation in services such as health and education that have already been part-privatised would be locked in, preventing future governments from being able to bring these services back into public ownership.  Furthermore ISDS would mean that foreign investors, such as US health companies, would have the power to sue the UK government for renationalising parts of the public service, leading to a ‘chilling effect’ on public policy. This is supported by an LSE study commissioned by the government which concluded that there were little or no economic benefits and high political costs of including ISDS in TTIP.[7]

3.  Jobs and wages

Some of the tariff reductions proposed in TTIP could be good news for British exporters, such as the chemicals and automotive industries – and even textiles, Scotch Whisky and farming. But instead of seeking an agreement with those limited but uncontentious objectives, politicians and business on both sides of the Atlantic have over-reached, seeking to sweep away ’non tariff barriers’ that contain a range of health and safety, environmental and consumer protections. The TUC is unconvinced by studies produced by the UK government and EU Commission promising job gains and growth, particularly as other studies produced using different modelling suggest potential job losses and wage depreciation.[8]  We believe negotiators, governments and businesses need to engage with trade unions on the potential outcomes for different sectors. The European Commission must make clear how funds would be provided through the Globalisation Adjustment Fund to areas losing jobs or income due to TTIP.

4.  Labour standards

The TUC is concerned that TTIP may lead to a lowering of labour standards as the US refuses to ratify core ILO conventions, including those on freedom of association and collective bargaining and operates anti-union “right to work” policies in half of its states.  We are concerned that labour chapters in EU trade agreements to date (such as in the EU-Korea FTA and CETA) have not contained enforceable language such as sanctions for violations of labour standards and that workers would therefore not have a route through TTIP to enforce their rights.

5.  Transparency and openness

Only two trade unionists (ETUC and IndustriALL representatives on the EU’s Advisory group on TTIP) have access to the negotiating texts- and this is in a locked Reading Room where copies cannot be made. We understand the need to keep certain aspects of negotiating strategies confidential but the TUC believes a more open approach is needed overall, based on the following key principles:

·    whatever the negotiators show to employers, they should show to trade unionists;

·    whatever the EU negotiators have given to the US negotiators, they should share with the people they allegedly represent; and

·    the EU should operate on the assumption that documents should be public, unless there is a good reason to keep them secret – rather than the other way round.[9]

6. European Parliament report on TTIP

On July 2 the European Parliament adopted a report on TTIP which contained a number of positive proposals, calling on the Commission to:

·    ensure that there is ratification, implementation and enforcement of the eight fundamental International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda – and that labour and environmental standards are included in other areas of the agreement such as investment, trade in services, regulatory cooperation and public procurement;

·    include rules on corporate social responsibility based on OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and clearly structured dialogue with civil society;

·    ensure that national and local authorities retain the full right to introduce, adopt, maintain or repeal any measures with regards to the commissioning, organisation, funding and provision of public services irrespective of how the services are provided and funded;

·     a “positive list” for market access whereby services that are to be opened up to foreign companies are explicitly mentioned and new services are excluded – this would allow governments to retain policy space for services not explicitly included in negotiations.

However, the TUC did not support the report’s conclusions on Investor-State Dispute Settlement which stated the Commission should:

‘…replace the ISDS-system with a new system for resolving disputes between investors and states which is subject to democratic principles and scrutiny where potential cases are treated in a transparent manner by publicly appointed, independent professional judges in public hearings and which includes an appellate mechanism, where consistency of judicial decisions is ensured, the jurisdiction of courts of the EU and of the Member States is respected and where private interests cannot undermine public policy objectives.’

As stated above, although this criticism of the traditional version of ISDS may be useful for encouraging the Commission to reopen the investment chapter of CETA, the TUC does not support the proposal that a modified version of ISDS would be preferable to the traditional ISDS found in CETA.  We are opposed in principle to foreign investors having a special court system to sue for compensation if they claim their rights have been violated – no equivalent exists for consumers, workers or domestic investors.  The TUC believes there should be no ISDS or any variation of ISDS in CETA, TTIP or any trade agreement.

[7] J. Bonnitcha, J.Webb Yackee, L.Skovgaard Poulsen,’The Costs and Benefits of an EU-US Investment Protection Treaty’, see

[8]  Eg, J. Capaldo, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: European Disintegration, Unemployment and Instability,

[9] See TUC submission to European Ombudsman’s consultation on transparency and TTIP:

TUC TTIP briefing as PDF

Thanks from 38 Degrees for TTIP Day of Action

38 Degrees Logo

Dear friends,

I’ve been out in my local area today to spread the word about a frightening trade deal our politicians are negotiating in secret right now: TTIP. The deal is like a wishlist for big corporations, but would be a disaster for ordinary people and our democracy.

This deal would:
– make it nearly impossible to reverse privatisation in our public services, such as our NHS or schools
– give big businesses the power to sue our government if it chose to make laws that would harm their profits, like raising the minimum wage or putting plain packaging on cigarettes.
– let thousands of currently banned nasty chemicals into our food and cosmetics
– put more bee-killing pesticides onto our fields

I don’t know about you, but I think this paints a terrifying picture for our future – and our children and grandchildren’s futures.

Fortunately, there’s a growing people-powered campaign to stop TTIP. More and more people across the UK and Europe are hearing about this dangerous deal, and getting behind the campaign to stop it.

If ordinary people shout loud enough in every town and city, our MPs and MEPs will have to listen. So will you join me and sign the petition against TTIP now?


PS. You can find out more here:

I’ve received the following e-mail of thanks from 38 Degrees Campaign HQ.

Dear Paul,

Walking down high streets across the UK today, it would be hard to miss the army of 38 Degrees members – out spreading the word about TTIP. Together, we’re making this trade deal a toxic word and getting hundreds of thousands more people behind the campaign. If you were out, thank you for being a part of it!

The politicians and corporate lobbyists behind TTIP are bunkering down, trying to make this deal even more secret. [1] But 38 Degrees members are doing the opposite: we’re shining a light on this huge threat to our democracy, our NHS, and our environment (including our bees!). [2]

It’s simple: the bigger the opposition, the harder it is for the dodgy deal to get through. So as one more push, to get the message out to as many people as possible, can you share what we did today on Facebook – or forward the email below on to five friends?

Our pressure is working, one conversation at a time. Here’s the latest from today’s events across the UK:

“I got 3 pages of names in 3 hours! I went around to local shops and explained the deal in terms of how their business could be affected by bigger fish. People shopping/drinking there heard me and added their names!” Edward, from Leyton

“The best comment I received today was “Thankyou, you’ve really opened up my eyes to things. I had never heard of TTIP.” Linden, from Staffordshire

“It was heartwarming to know that people who live near me are as worried about this trade deal as me – and are keen to do something about it” Rachel, from Hexham

A year ago, 38 Degrees members took part in the first ever day of action to stop TTIP. [3] We’ve come so far – over two million people across Europe have signed the petition against the deal. And we’ve persuaded over half of our MEPs to take a stand against TTIP. [4] Together, we’re a force to be reckoned with. Let’s keep it up.

Thanks for being involved,

Bex, Amy, Rebecca and the 38 Degrees team

PS: Please can you take a few minutes to fill in this short survey about today’s action? It will help make future of days of action even better:

PPS: Local papers across the UK are packed with stories about TTIP this weekend:

And together, we’ve got the message out on radio and TV. Listen to Rebecca from the staff team speaking about TTIP on BBC 3 Counties yesterday (from 2:10):

You can also click here to follow-up with your local press about how the day of action went in your area. There’s a template email, and it’ll only take a few minutes:

[1] The Independent: TTIP controversy: Secret trade deal can only be read in secure ‘reading room’ in Brussels:

[2] The Telegraph: What is TTIP and why is it so controversial?:

[3] Full Fact: TTIP’s “secret courts”:

[4] The Independent: British sovereignty ‘at risk’ from EU-US trade deal: UK in danger of surrendering judicial independence to multinational corporations, warn activists:

[5] 38 Degrees: TTIP Day of Action:

[6] 38 Degrees blog: TTIP day of action tomorrow!:

[7] 38 Degrees blog: MEPs who voted for what?

TTIP | Exeter takes to the streets to expose secret trade deal




Media release | Exeter takes to the streets to expose secret trade deal
Embargo: for immediate release

Campaigners from Exeter will be taking to the streets this Saturday to raise awareness of a secretive deal with the USA that is set to give more power to big corporations.

The day of action in Exeter is part of a nationwide effort coordinated by independent campaign group 38 Degrees. It will see local campaigners talk to hundreds of people about the dangers of this deal, and how it might affect their lives if it isn’t stopped.

Campaigners say the deal could force NHS trusts across the country to open up to American private healthcare providers, and could allow big businesses to sue the government if British laws dent their profits.

Volunteers will be assembling in Bedford Street in Exeter at 11am on Saturday 22nd August, joining thousands of other people who are also taking action across the UK. They’re calling on people to sign the petition against TTIP, which will be delivered to politicians in October.

Paul, a 38 Degrees member from Exeter said: “This secret deal gives too much control to powerful multi-national corporations at the expense of local enterprise.

“I am pleased that Exeter City Council was one of the first local authorities to speak out against the negotiations and since December 2014 has been a TTIP-free zone.

“But it’s not enough. Even if local services are exempt, there is a big threat to NHS services.

“Working with Keep Our NHS Public, campaigners recently delivered a 6000 signature petition to save our city-centre Walk-In Centre on Sidwell Street.

“Yet under TTIP provisions, the facility could be sold off in a privatisation deal. And once sold off, it would be well nigh impossible to bring it back under public ownership

“That’s not the NHS I want, and that’s why I’m against this awful trade deal.”

Amy Lockwood, campaigner at 38 Degrees said: “This Saturday, 38 Degrees members Exeter will be pushing TTIP, the dangerous trade deal, out of secret negotiating rooms and into the public spotlight.

“People in Exeter have a right to know that this dodgy deal is being hashed out behind their backs.

“From the NHS, to schools, to the food on our tables, TTIP could tear up the public services and protections that people fought hard for.

“Saturday’s day of action is all about the people of [area] sending a message to corporate lobbyists: we won’t sit back while you re-write the rules of democracy.”

The EU-wide petition against TTIP has almost reached 2.5 million signatures. It can be found at



Paul Bull

Notes to editors

[1] 38 Degrees is one of the UK’s biggest campaigning communities, with over 3 million members. 38 Degrees brings you together with other people to take action on the issues that matter to you and bring about real change in the UK.

[2] TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – is currently being negotiated between the US and the EU. If it goes through without any changes, it’ll make privatisation of services like the NHS and National Rail irreversible. It’ll also allow big corporations to sue our government if they make changes to the law which affect businesses’ profits – like raising the minimum wage.

[3] 38 Degrees: Campaign against TTIP website:

[4] 38 Degrees: TTIP Briefing Document

[5] Daily Telegraph: What is TTIP and why is it so controversial [11 June 2015]

[6] Friends of the Earth: What is TTIP? And why worry about it?


#noTTIP | #Exeter is a TTIP-Free Zone

Screen shot 2015-06-26 at 21.17.52

TTIP, the EU-US trade deal, could be the biggest threat to democracy of our generation. This is true both at national level, where government policy like increasing the minimum wage or freezing energy prices could be challenged in secret corporate tribunals, and at local level, where councils could be forced to favour big American corporations over local, sustainable businesses in their procurement. Councils could also be challenged for doing things like denying planning permission for fracking in their local area.

Download the briefing from Global Justice Now to find out more about TTIP and local government.

Global Justice Now also have a model motion on TTIP for local authorities

Make your local council a TTIP Free Zone

Keep Our NHS Public is suggesting that local groups consider a campaign to persuade their local authority to declare their council a ‘TTIP free zone’. There have already been resolutions to this effect successfully passed by a number of local authorities, such as Southampton (19 Novmber 2014), Oxford (29 September 2014), and Exeter (16 December 2014) , and Lancashire County Council (17 July 2014).

KONP has drafted a motion for campaigners to put to local councils (see attached – it just needs the name of the Local Authority inserted).
Download suggested Motion

Advice from those who have already successfully lobbied Councils includes first finding a sympathetic councillor to take this forward and writing to members of the Council in advance of any discussion of the resolution, to provide information that may help to persuade members to support the motion.
Download draft letter to Councillor

If my experience here in Exeter is anything to go by, this is a good move – one Tory councillor ahead our meeting did his research on Wikipedia!

Earlier this week, Global Justice Now announced that Edinburgh and Lewisham joined the list of TTIP-Free councils.

TTIP-Free Zones
TTIP-Free Zones

TTIP | My response to Dom Morris

I’ve recently received a reply from the Tory candidate for Exeter, outlining his views on TTIP.

I decided to put my thoughts to him:

Sent: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 11:35
Subject: Re: TTIP

Dear Mr Morris

Thank you for your response the 30 Degree e-mail of 14/01/15 you were copied into ahead of the recent debate about TTIP in the House of Commons on 15/01/15

I note the points you make about where you stand regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and I would like to challenge some of the points you make.

For me, it find it hard to decide whether I am for TTIP or against, as I haven’t seen a text on which to judge the possible benefits. So that fills me with fears – that may or may not be realised.
The way the treaty is being negotiated has been a cause for concern – there has been an incredible amount of secrecy surrounding the far, most of the process of negotiation has been secretative and undemocratic.

Critics have said that transnational corporations had early opportunities to lobby the European Commission about the treaty but the same opportunities have not been extended to trades unions or civil society groups. Of the 560 meetings that the Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade held in preparation for negotiations, 520 were with business lobbyists and only 26 were with public interest groups.

So, for the most part these negotiations are being conducted exclusively by high-level civil servants. There is no political input.

Already there have been 7 rounds of negotiation…the last one concluded on 03 October 2014.

It was only after the conclusion of this round  of negotiations (on  09 Oct 2014) that the Council of the European Union finally declassified the previously restricted negotiating mandate.

It took a year of campaigning to get even this small concession to transparency.

So we now know how they are negotiating – but not on what the terms are
“TTIP will lower trade barriers, boost growth and create more jobs within Britain.”

Most Free Trade Agreements are about reducing and removing tariffs, but that’s not the case with T-TIP.

Currently tariffs between the EU and the US are already low – they are close to zero, averaging around 3%. The major exceptions include running shoes and fancy chocolate!

So, unlike classic free-trade arrangements, TTIP focuses on regulatory and other non-tariff barriers – NBTs.

So my fear is that TTIP could seriously weaken the safety standards we rely on, and weaken the values of fairness and democracy we cherish.

As it stands, TTIP seems to be a bi-lateral trade agreement based around reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business – affecting things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations.

In the words of John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, “T-TIP is correctly understood as a negotiation between two competing trading partners, but as an assault on European and US societies by transnational corporation seeking to remove regulatory barriers to their activities on both sides of the Atlantic.” (see John Hilary The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – a charter for deregulationRosa Luxenburg Stiftung, Brussels Office/War on Want

It appears is that this trade deal will simply result in a race to the bottom on labour, social, environmental, and heath & safety standards.

TTIP could also boost the UK economy by up to £100 billion over a ten year period; this will help create jobs and security for British taxpayers. The car industry alone could benefit to the tune of 50,000 new jobs.”

You seem convinced of the argument put forward by it’s proponents – that TTIP will stimulate growth in both Europe and in the US., but the projections given by the EU Commission in relation to jobs and growth are not universally accepted; some commentators express a degree of caution, others outright scepticism.

I’ve been reading research by the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts Univerity
(Jeronim Capaldo, European Disintegration, Unemployment and Instability GDAE Working Paper 14-03 October 2014)

They seem to think that  the projections endorsed by the European Commission point to positive, although negligible, gains in terms of GDP and personal incomes. In a paradox, these projections also show that any gains in Trans-Atlantic trade would happen at the expense of intra-EU trade reversing the process of European economic integration.

In there paper, Tufts Univeristy  assess the effects of TTIP using the United Nations Global Policy Model, which incorporates more sensible assumptions on macroeconomic adjustment, employment dynamics, and global trade rather than the Computable General Equilibrium model that has proven inadequate as a tool for trade policy analysis.

This has led Tufts to project that TTIP will lead to a contraction of GDP, personal incomes and employment. We also project an increase in financial instability and a continuing downward trend in the labor share of GDP.

Evaluated with the United Nations model, TTIP appears to favor economic dis-integration, rather than integration, in Europe. At a minimum, this shows that official studies do not offer a solid basis for an informed decision on TTIP.

Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Researchnoted that the projected GDP increases in the study produced for the European Commission would not materialise in full until 2027, and that they reflected a best-case scenario. In a less ambitious, and “presumably more realistic” scenario, the GDP gain for the US by 2027 would be “roughly equal to a normal month’s growth” and thus in Mr Baker’s view, “too small to notice”.

TTIP does not require Britain to open its NHS to private providers…”

This is the one element of TTIP that has caused most debate. If the NHS is safe,why refuse to specifically exclude it from all negotiations?

Just this weekend, BBC published the contents of a leaked document
which includes a Schedule of specific commitment s and reservations.

On health, the document states: “The EU reserves the right to adopt or maintain any measure with regard to the provision of all health services which receive public funding or State support in any form”.

The UK trade minister, Lord Livingston, said last week that this text ensured “publicly funded health services are excluded”.

But Unite The Union’s Scottish regional secretary, Pat Rafferty said: “Last week Lord Livingston tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the Scottish people.

“Now this leaked document has confirmed Unite’s expert legal advice, that NHS services in Scotland and the rest of the UK do fall within the scope of the TTIP.

I think this issue has to be put beyond any doubt. If everyone is so  so confident that the NHS is protected, why don’t they specifically add it to the list of exclusions?
…and will not affect how public services are paid for.

The threat about TTIP has never been about “how public servces are paid forr” – but about how they are procured.

The Commission’s negotiating mandate includes provisions that T-TIP will increase mutual access to government procurement markets “at all administrative levels…in the fields of public utilities…and ensuring treatment no less favourable than that accorded to locally established suppliers”

Local government procurement would therefore be included.

As a result, a  Commons Library research paper notes:

There are concerns that [T-TIP]…could constrain the power of national governments to decide how publics services are provided”.

That’s the public services that we, Exeter City Council, deliver for our residents and citizens.

A motion was debated in the European Parliament on 15 May 2013 called for the Commission to explicitly exclude from the negotiating mandate access to public services:

  1. Calls on the Council to explicitly exclude from the negotiating mandate market access to public services or any regulatory cooperation threatening the horizontal exceptions for public utilities or directly or indirectly increasing pressure for liberalisation of the public‑service sector;

However, this motion (and many others alongside) was defeated.

The European Commission has claimed that public services will be kept out of T-TIP by virtue of an exclusion of services “supplied in the exercise of governmental authority” as defined in the General Agreement on Trade in Services [GATS], which comes under the World Trade Organisation [WTO].

But the WTO definition of what would qualify under this exemption is narrow – “only on a non-commercial basis and not in competition with other suppliers”
“The rules on … Investor State Dispute Settlement will preserve the right for the government to regulate in the public interests”


I have serious concerns over the inclusion of an Investor-State Dispute Settlement [ISDS] mechanism within T-TIP.

It is imperative to protect the right of democratically elected governments to legislate for legitimate public policy objective.

ISDS allows for multi-national companies to challenge this right.

Ultimately, ISDS remains a system based on PRIVATE justice rather than democratic jurisdiction.

It would effectively create a two-tier legal system, in which different sets of rules would apply to multinationals and small firms.

ISDS is unnecessary as investor protection is already provided for in our mature legal system.

And ISDS could be used as an instrument to coerce the EU or national governments, politically if not legally.

ISDS WILL challenge the right of governments to govern and leave them free to make the best laws for their citizens

I can see no reasonable justification to include ISDS in the T-TIP agreement.

“Both the public and Parliament will have the opportunity to further scrutinise the proposals as the negotiations carry on”

To date, national governments and MEPs from the European Parliament’s trade committee have only limited access to documents.

As I understand it, once negotiations are completed, the deal will be presented to the Council and the European Parliament, both of which must agree the outcome, which is then subject to signature and formal ratification. The deal has also to be separately ratified by the national parliaments of each of the EU Member States before it formally enters into force.

In the UK this will be done through secondary legislation – a draft Order in Council laid in Parliament and it has to approved by both the Commons and the Lords under the affirmative procedure, and then by the Privy Council. However, under ‘provisional application’ procedures, if member states agree to it via the Council, parts of the agreement can enter into force before it is ratified by national parliaments.

So, once the treaty is signed by negotiators, the UK parliament, like other EU member states, will only be able to vote to accept or reject the treaty as a whole: they will not be able to amend it in any way.

I hope that many of my fears outlined above will be dispelled as negotiations progress, but to date nothing I had read – nor anything contained within your comments – gives rise to any optimism.

Yours sincerely

Paul Bull