David Cameron faces a mounting rebellion from his own backbenchers over accepting more refugee children, just a day before the local elections. On top of this, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a flagship US-EU free trade deal Cameron has been championing for years, has been stopped in its tracks by the French president.
Cameron’s skinny parliamentary majority is forcing him to listen intently to rebels throughout his tenure.
At Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday, the Prime Minister continued to act as if the unaccompanied children are safe because they are already in Europe. However, Europol estimates that 10,000 refugee children are missing – now likely set for a life of sexual abuse, slavery or both. Voting against saving innocent children from this fate is a vote against one’s own humanity.
Fortunately, Cameron has now confirmed a climbdown, but the details are unspecified:
PM: I'm talking to @savechildrenuk to see what more we can do particularly for children who arrived in Europe before EU-Turkey deal signed.
— No. 10 Press Office (@Number10press) May 4, 2016
France rejects Cameron’s flagship policy
Not only is the Prime Minister backtracking over his refugee policy the day before the local elections, but TTIP has hit a brick wall.
On Tuesday, François Hollande said he would reject TTIP in its current form. Opposition from the third largest EU economy is a crushing blow for Cameron, who claimed he would put “rocket boosters” behind it.
On 1 May, Greenpeace leaked documents confirming critics’ worst suspicions about the deal:
- It is a huge transfer of democratic power from people to US big business. American corporate giants will have the power to sue EU governments over lost profits.
- It disposes of environmental legislation, in favour of corporate profit.
- The NHS could be completely sold off.
- The end of the ‘Precautionary Principle’. This means that products, actions or policies will no longer require scientific proof to back them up, in the face of suspected risk to public health or the environment.
In July 2015, Cameron said we would “rue the day” we defeat TTIP – dismissing opposition as fearmongering. But in light of the recent leaks, it seems the only people who will “rue the day” are the US multinational corporations Cameron appears to be trying to help.
Tory turmoil seems never ending
Since mid-March, things have not looked good for the Cameron leadership. First, we had Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation and public denouncement of austerity. Then we had the Panama Papers revelations, leading to Cameron’s admission that he profited from tax dodging and culminating in widespread calls for his resignation from within Westminster and the public sphere.
More recently, Cameron’s ‘workfare’ policy was defeated in the Supreme Court. This was a major loss, as the government’s Work Experience Programme, Sector Based Work Academies, Community Action Programme, Mandatory Work Activity scheme and The Work Programme all fall into this category.
And now, Cameron is facing a mounting rebellion from his own backbenchers, his beloved TTIP is in ruin, and Jeremy Corbyn has been making gains. All right before the local elections.
– Remember to vote in the local elections on Thursday 5 May.
Featured image via Twitter.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?