If he was elected prime minister, Corbyn plans to kill off the trade deal. This comes after pages from the TTIP was leaked, highlighting that the relationship between Europe and the US was weaker than many had previously thought given that divisions remain on central provisions.
French president François Hollande has also maintained that he would “never accept” the deal in its current guise. “We will never accept questioning essential principles for our agriculture, our culture and for the reciprocity of access to public procurement markets,” Hollande allegedly said in a meeting. “At this stage of the talks France says ‘No’.”
This has led to many questioning whether the country would use a veto to oppose the deal – and was referenced to by Corbyn in a recent speech.
“A few weeks ago the French president said he would veto the deal as it stands and to become law any deal would have to be ratified by each member state,” he said. “So today we give this pledge, as it stands, we too would reject TTIP – and veto it in government. And there is a challenge to the prime minister, if it’s not good enough for France; it’s not good enough for Britain either.”
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He further added that many people had written to him regarding their concerns about the TTIP deal being negotiated largely in secret. “Many people are concerned rightly, that it could open up public services to further privatisation – and make privatisation effectively irreversible,” he said. “Others are concerned about any potential watering down of consumer rights, food safety standards, rights at work or environmental protections and the facility for corporations to sue national governments if regulations impinged on their profits.”
He asked that David Cameron “make clear” that if Britain votes for remain he would “block any TTIP trade treaty that threatens public services, consumer and employment rights and that hands over power to giant corporations to override democratically elected governments”.
Reacting to Corbyn’s pledge to veto the proposed EU-US trade deal, the Institute of Directors warned politicians against jumping on the anti-trade bandwagon, urging the Labour leader to engage with the content of the deal.
Allie Renison, head of EU and trade policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “In an interconnected world, easy movement of goods and services across borders is vital to maximising Britain’s economic prosperity. An overwhelming majority of IoD members support the US-EU trade deal because a reduction in trade barriers would give a boost to both exporters and importers alike. We urge the Labour party to wait until the agreement has been finalised before rushing to judgement.
“In both Europe and America the principle of free trade is under attack from opportunistic or misguided politicians. Now more than ever we need our leaders to stand up and make the positive case for how trade benefits both businesses and consumers through lower prices, a greater variety of products and services, jobs associated with increased exports, and the innovation which competition spurs.”
We also took a look at the implications of TTIP for US and UK business and the likely effect of Brexit.By Shané Schutte
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