The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a major threat to democracy, public services, health and safety, privacy and the environment – no less! It is essential that citizens put pressure on elected officials to oppose TTIP. Following in the footsteps of Southampton, Oxford and other British cities, citizens of Cambridge are petitioning the City Council to pass a motion against TTIP.
For a detailed analysis of TTIP and a survey of the existing forms of resistance you can support, please read John Hilary's brochure.
CAMBRIDGE AGAINST TTIP
The signatories of this petition believe that TTIP:
1. Is undemocratic in its inception: it is negotiated behind closed doors by unelected bureaucrats advised by lobbyists speaking on behalf of private interests;
2. Is detrimental to public health and safety: it will lead to a lowering of food and environmental standards to the lowest common denominator between the EU and the US;
3. Will damage the environment by undermining key European regulations, based upon the precautionary principle, forbidding the use of hazardous chemical substances. TTIP will also make the adoption of new regulation extremely difficult.
4. Poses a major and prolonged threat to jobs: whilst state officials claim that TTIP will boost trade and employment, the European Commission itself anticipates "prolonged and substantial" dislocation to European workers;
5. Endangers public services such as health, education and water by opening them to private funds. TTIP would also make it impossible to reverse privatizations.
6. Puts personal privacy at risk: the intellectual property rights chapter of TTIP contains provisions on copyright patterns and trademarks, with a view to strengthen corporate control over knowledge at the expense of public access by such institutions as schools, libraries and distance education.
7. Empowers international corporations above states by enabling the former to sue the latter before private arbitration courts (ISDS) for any loss in profits presumably caused by new legislation. Such mechanisms have already enabled Veolia to sue Egypt for raising the minimum wage.
We conclude that TTIP, undemocratic in its inception, is anti-democratic in its aims and threatens the capacity of elected governments to act for the common good as defined by the democratic will of citizens.
The signatories of this petition ask the Cambridge City Council to:
1. Pass a motion endorsing all the above points;
2. Write to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and formally express their opposition to TTIP;
3. Invite all borough/district councils, as well as County Councils Network and Local Government Associations in Cambridgeshire to do the same;
4. Respond to the European Ombudsman Own-Initiative Inquiry on Transparency in TTIP, and any future similar public inquiry, outlining the above threats to this Council's ability to work towards the good of Cambridge’s communities on social, environmental, ethical and economic matters.