GMB demands opt-out from EU/US trade deal

The GMB union is demanding that that the government secures an opt out from the disputes mechanism In New EU/US TTIP talks in order to safeguard UK national sovereignty.

This mechanism limits the ability of member states to decide what sectors like the NHS should stay in the public sector and hands power to unelected and unaccountable corporations .

Talks have resumed in Washington to reach a new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States.

The TTIP will include an Investor-State Disputes Settlement (ISDS) mechanism giving corporations the power to fine states that do their bidding. This mechanism is included in previous US free trade agreements and bilateral trade agreements, notably the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)..

Despite repeated warnings by trade unions and other civil society organisations, the European Commission is determined to press ahead with ISDS, thus allowing transnational companies to effectively dictate what member states can and cannot do with public policy.

Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer, said, “The American Chamber of Commerce says that the investment chapter of the trade agreement with the EU should become the gold standard for all other investment agreements.

“Their desire for what is effectively a transatlantic corporate bill of rights must not be allowed to come to fruition. As talks on the deal reopen today we are calling on David Cameron and the UK Government not to sacrifice the public interest on the altar of corporate profit.”

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