Will Bristol become the 26th local council to oppose EU-USA trade deal?

Will Bristol become the 26th local council to oppose EU-USA trade deal?

Date: 9 November 2015

Tomorrow, Bristol City Council will be voting on a two different motions relating to a controversial trade deal being promoted by the EU and USA – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). One motion has been raised by Labour’s Sue Milestone, the other by Green Party Councillor Anna McMullen.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is currently being negotiated between the EU and the USA. The controversial deal has been widely criticised for being a threat to public services, environmental regulation and workers’ rights. If passed TTIP could restrict the ability of local authorities to support local businesses in their procurement and recruit local people. Earlier this year the EU-wide petition against TTIP reached 3 million signatures. In October the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, spoke out against TTIP at a rally in London, while on the same day, 250,000 people in Berlin took to the streets to protest against TTIP.

25 local councils across the country have already passed motions opposing TTIP, including Glasgow, Sheffield and Cambridge. Their concerns include the fact that TTIP could prevent local councils from making procurement choices from local goods providers.   In the last week similar motions were passed in Fife and Mid-Lothian.

Guy Taylor, trade justice campaigner at Global Justice Now, said:

“TTIP, the EU-US trade deal, could be the biggest threat to democracy of our generation. This is true at both national and local levels. Councils could be forced to favour big American corporations over local sustainable businesses in their procurement. They could also be challenged for denying planning permission for fracking or retail developments in their local area. Councils across the UK and the rest of the EU are responding to popular opinion opposing this toxic trade deal. Brussels bureaucrats, on the other hand, only want to listen to huge corporations.”

Martin Powell, from campaign group Global Justice Bristol, said:

“If councillors care about being able to represent the interests of local people and local businesses they must back this motion.”

The public demonstration in support of the anti-TTIP motions will take place at 16:45 10th November, at Bristol County Ground, Neville Road, BS7 9EJ.

Download a briefing on local councils and the impacts of TTIP here.

Print quality photos of various TTIP protests and demonstrations can be found on the Global Justice Now flickr page.