Time to step up our campaign to make sure Scotland’s voice is heard on trade deals
Almost every day the media is reporting on post-Brexit trade deals that the UK government plans to negotiate around the world, including a US-UK trade deal that could mirror the controversial, toxic trade deal TTIP*. Having spent the last three years fighting TTIP, we find that really worrying. Stories about chlorine washed chicken, hormone fed beef and toxic chemicals in baby milk obviously don’t help either.
Here in Scotland, it’s vital that our politicians understand that areas devolved to the Scottish parliament, such as environment, food safety, health and workers rights could be threatened by the UK government’s new trade deals. We need to act now to ensure that they’re alerted to this and ready to speak up for Scotland.
We campaign in many ways, but one of the important things we can do is to take our message direct to politicians. We did this in our campaign to stop TTIP – and it’s time to step up our efforts again. We’re going to start with a fringe meeting on trade deals at the SNP’s autumn conference – where we can talk directly to politicians and party members. We’re running a crowdfunder to help us raise £750 to fund that. Please do chip in if you can – or share on social media – to help us ensure that decision-makers here in Scotland don’t shy away from the threats from corporate trade deals like TTIP and instead make sure Scotland’s voice is heard.
As Scottish Labour MEP David Martin said in a recent article in Cable Magazine: “In any US-UK deal, the American agricultural lobby will certainly insist on good market access for their agricultural products. America will roll us over in terms of agricultural access… I also don’t believe the health service and other public services will be protected in a British-American deal and I cannot envisage in any of our trade deals, the United Kingdom demanding high environmental, social, and labour standards.” And that’s from someone who thought TTIP wasn’t all bad!
*TTIP is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a mega trade deal previously being negotiated between the EU and US, but which stalled due to huge public and political opposition.