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UK Against Fluoridation

Sunday, May 29, 2016

UK - Letter published on the 28th May under the Echo heading "Deal Would Undermine Equality."

The Government’s true feelings for the NHS were shockingly revealed when leaked plans showed it was to have no protection from TTIP – the infamous Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership, and CETA - Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement.  The Government was forced into a shaming U Turn to provide NHS safeguards against the world’s ultimate corporate power grab. 
TTIP contains secret plans to introduce a special justice system for business investors across Europe, giving corporations legal privileges to undermine domestic courts and create a parallel corporate legal system. This investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) gives global corporations the power to challenge any new laws or regulations that could adversely affect their profits.  War on Want (and others) claim governments are plotting through TTIP/CETA, to undermine the basic principle of equality before the law. Big Business will get a private justice system more powerful than national legislation, enabling them to sue governments for policies that threaten corporate interests.  These could include workers rights, health and safety and environmental protections.
Our Government is ardently committed to TTIP.  The question for all of us is what other vital institutions, human rights (already under threat) and civil liberties will be secretly weakened or signed away in this toxic deal that millions oppose?  

Once ratified this and all future governments will be shackled to TTIP/CETA.  But could leaving the EU mean an even more dangerous bi-lateral deal?  The EU, influenced by millions of campaigning citizens, has the power to kill the most egregious parts and negotiate vital protections.  However, unfettered by EU safeguards, Cameron could privately sign deals that would put us at the mercy of global corporations - Monsanto, Big Pharma, Agro-petrochemical industries and many more.  The Government could then use TTIP to impose measures previously denied them by public pressure. The NHS, whose existing exclusion would be invalid, would be one of the first victims due to rampant privatisation and cost hikes in pharmaceuticals.  Supermarkets could be forced to sell unlabelled GM products, since labelling would threaten profits.  Former Tory Environment Minister Owen Paterson (strongly Brexit) is a fan of GM and Monsanto.  Present Environment Minister Liz Truss is working hard to overturn the European ban on neonicotinoids, Monsanto’s bee killing pesticide.  There could be weakened health and safety protections on fracking, and the possibility of US-led compulsory mass medication of our public water supplies (fluoridation).   

Isolated from Europe this Government would have weaker negotiating powers, but paradoxically, be freer to hand over our sovereignty in a massive corporate takeover of the UK. TTIP will be hugely more beneficial and profitable to Corporate America than to us.  So, is it safer to remain and have powerful influence in Europe, or leave and hand over our democratic sovereignty to greedy multinationals?  

Jennifer Godschall Johnson


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