We lost today’s battle on CETA, but we can still win the war
By: Nick Dearden
Date: 15 February 2017
Today the European parliament voted yes to CETA, the undemocratic trade deal between Canada and the EU. 27 British MEPs voted in favour of it, although 22 did reject it.
But despite the temporary defeat, we have some good news. Thanks to thousands of campaigners like you, never before has a trade deal faced so much opposition from citizens. One MEP told a local campaigner “I have never received anything like this level of correspondence before.”
We can still stop CETA
Thanks to the strength of the campaign against TTIP and CETA, the European commission agreed that national parliaments must vote on the deal. So, although parts of CETA will come into effect soon, the toxic corporate court system will have to wait until 40 parliaments across Europe agree to CETA.
That means that CETA can still be stopped. And we will turn our attention to Westminster. We don’t know when CETA will come to parliament, but we’ll be ready for it.
This is the starting point for our new campaign. Because, unless we change the parliamentary accountability, trade deals negotiated by the UK after Brexit will be even less democratic and even more damaging than CETA.
In coming weeks, we will join with other campaigners to launch a new campaign for trade justice. We want to make sure trade deals negotiated by Britain are subject to full parliamentary and public scrutiny.
As a first step, you can take action right now to call for parliamentary scrutiny of some of the UK’s existing trade deals, the Bilateral Investment Treaties. The UK has over 100 of these, and like TTIP and CETA, they all include the controversial corporate courts or ISDS, which allows companies to sue governments. We need MPs to push for a fundamental rethink in our approach to our existing treaties – and this will help to make our future trade deals fairer.
Image: Activists blockading the entrance to the European parliament this morning in Strasbourg.