Concerns over Canada-EU corporate trade deal at SNP conference
GLOBAL JUSTICE NOW, the campaign group for international equality, have called on the SNP to fully oppose the controversial ‘Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement’ (CETA) with a stunt protest outside the party’s conference at the weekend (Saturday 15 October).
Dressed as ‘corporate rats’, protests carried out a theatrical protest to highlight the case that big business trade deals exclude elected governments, citizens, and environmental interests from financial decision making.
A vote on CETA is expected before the end of the year at the European parliament. It follows a victory for campaigners in stalling the enactment of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which faced many of the same criticisms as the CETA proposals.
Steve Rolfe, member of the Global Justice Glasgow group who organised the protest, said:
”The toxic trade deal TTIP might have been kicked into the long grass, but this deal with Canada is TTIP by the back door. US companies who have a subsidiary company in Canada will be able to use CETA to sue our government if it makes decisions that threatens their profits. It’s a disgrace that politicians are prioritising this corporate power grab over the interests of Scotland.
“We are calling on the SNP to stop listening to the corporate rats, to vote against CETA and to work for trade that ensures democratic control not corporate power, environment before profit, and worker’s rights not corporate privileges.
“Brexit or no Brexit, CETA will affect us as the deal could come into force before we’ve even triggered article 50. The SNP needs to speak out against this insanity.”
SNP MEP Alyn Smith has said the party will oppose the deal if it cross any key ‘red lines’, including on the issue of corporate courts giving big business extra legal powers over elected governments.
Let me reassure you that the red lines that myself and the SNP have for TTIP are every bit as applicable to CETA and I will not support a treaty that contains ISDS or any similar system.
Smith previously stated: “My red lines are clear and I will not compromise upon them. The NHS and other public services must be clearly carved out, European standards must not be compromised and corporations must not be given any special rights to sue governments that pursue policies they disagree with.”
However, campaigners want a pledge that SNP members to confirm their opposition ahead of any vote.
Smith has said it would be “irresponsible to disengage from the process”, while there may be opportunities for further engagement on the contents of the treaty.
Supporters of CETA claim that large businesses generate wealth and jobs in a globalised economy.
Picture courtesy of Global Justice Now
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