Corbyn lays down challenge to Cameron over TTIP threat to our public services (VIDEO)

Support us and go ad-free

Jeremy Corbyn has just thrown down the gauntlet to David Cameron. Pledging to block an international deal aimed at giving greater – and anti-democratic – powers to large corporations, the Labour leader has challenged David Cameron to do the same.

The agreement in question is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a secretive and controversial US-EU deal which could see corporations take governments to court they believe regulations have affected their potential profits.

At a speech on 2 June, Corbyn shared the concerns of thousands of people who had contacted Labour about TTIP, saying:

Many are concerned quite rightly that it could open up public services to further privatisation and make privatisation effectively irreversible… Others are concerned about potential watering down of consumer rights, food safety standards, rights at work or environmental protections… And a facility for corporations to take national governments to court if regulations impinge on their profits.

He stressed:

I absolutely share all of those concerns.

But he didn’t stop there. Over TTIP, he said:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

There’s a challenge to the Prime Minister.

Referring to French President François Hollande’s current opposition to the deal – which came about after Greenpeace leaked secret TTIP documents, Corbyn said:

If it’s not good enough for France or for other people, it’s not good enough for us either… Today we give this pledge. As it stands we too would reject TTIP and veto it in government.

In other words, he insisted, the best way to stop the deal was to stay in the EU and:

use our collective negotiating power to stop corporations taking consumers to the cleaners

He then confronted David Cameron, asking:

Will you block any TTIP trade treaty that threatens our public services, our consumer rights and our employment gains? Or that hands power over to giant corporations to override democratically elected governments?

You can see Corbyn’s pledge and challenge to the Prime Minister here:

Corbyn’s promise has rattled business leaders

The Institute of Directors (IoD), a lobbying group for business interests, responded to Corbyn’s challenge by saying:

An overwhelming majority of IoD members support the US-EU trade deal… We urge the Labour party to wait until the agreement has been finalised before rushing to judgement.

Given the group’s vested interests in TTIP, it is unsurprising that it then called critics of the deal like Corbyn “opportunistic or misguided politicians”.

But the Labour leader’s concerns have been echoed by both academics and campaign groups.

Greenpeace, for example, has insisted that the deal isn’t about trade but about “corporate power”. It is, the group says:

a threat for democracy, environmental protection, health standards and working conditions.

Noam Chomsky, meanwhile, has said that deals like TTIP aren’t even trade agreements. Instead, he has called them “investor rights agreements”.

So it seems Jeremy Corbyn has positioned himself on the side of democracy, the environment, and workers’ rights, and against privatisation and increased corporate power.

On the other hand, Global Justice Now Director Nick Dearden has accused David Cameron of pushing the hardest for TTIP and “handing over sovereignty for the sake of it”.

Because of strong parliamentary opposition, however, Cameron recently capitulated to demands for an official amendment to the Queen’s Speech promising to protect the NHS from toxic investor rights agreements.

The Prime Minister has already been forced to water down his own commitment to the anti-democratic TTIP. Will popular opposition from Corbyn and others push him to go even further?

Get involved!

– See other articles at The Canary about TTIP and sign this petition against the deal.

Take action with Global Justice Now against these toxic trade deals.

Support the campaign against the privatisation of our NHS.

Featured image via RT UK/YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed