Very pleased to be able to report that in Brussels this week we saw that democracy in its purest sense actually working. Although elections are held regularly in the EU, how MEPs are actually grouped together in parties does not seem very straightforward; furthermore with all the directives that are issued by the EU to member countries it sometimes feels quite remote from how people live their daily lives. On Friday the vote on TTIP was postponed until over the weekend. This is merely a pyrrhic victory as there is a long, long way to go before this particular issue has been dealt with satisfactorily.
Over 200 amendments had been tabled to a wide-ranging package of recommendation on TTIP which would feed into the EU Commission’s negotiation with US trade officials. Few MEPs have ever seen such wholescale opposition to an agreement that would singularly wipe away all the rights and protections in health, education and employment that have been hard won by generations of Europeans.
There have been widespread anti-TTIP marches against this agreement across Europe among a people from many different backgrounds. Unfortunately this will have to go back to the EU parliament’s trade committee for redrafting next week (June 15-19), but these drafts will need to be incorporated and discussed among MEPs at all levels. This is an issue that will not go away.
I was also very pleased to read that Obama has been roundly defeated 302 vote to 126 to fast-track the trade agreements TTIP, TTP and TiSA by the US Senate which will encourage a breathing space for those in the USA to carefully consider all the oppositions, points and amendments raised and their ramifications.
Although I understand that these trade agreements have been put forward as a counter to President Putin’s successful implementation of BRICS and other trade agreements with Russia’s Eastern Asian countries, they are also designed to undermine the countries TTIP, TTP and TiSA party to those agreements. I have plainly stated that these supposed “benefit” to EU counties so far as TTIP is concerned is so miniscule as to be insulting. The benefit is not about trade, but about the ability to seize assets, plunder resources and enslave people for the benefit of corporations.
That EU MEPs seriously think that by stalling, holding negotiations in secret is something the EU electorate would take lightly is a serious mistake. This is not the time to take a breather, but to keep pushing, pressurising MEPs to retain our standards, our rights to good education, healthcare, environments, food and water, homes and uphold our rights with regards to the Human Rights Act.
US interests wish to water these down and our own weak, ineffectual UK government may be happy to enable this, but more than ever it is important that the foundations on which the EU was built should be upheld and the EU Parliament should grow a pair, tell the USA, IMF, WTO, and other quasi-organisations to get lost and stop interfering and undermining what is a pretty good working relationship with each other.