Brexit and Democracy
Brexit will require that the British Government negotiate a whole new set of trade agreements, not just with the EU, but with countries across the world. Theresa May has made it clear that she wants to do this with as little scrutiny as possible. Greater Manchester Trade Action Network will be campaigning to make sure that she doesn’t get her way and that she makes deals that are in the best interests of ordinary people, not just corporate profits.
The Great Repeal Bill, coming before Parliament this autumn will be a major focus for our campaigning. This bill is intended to transfer European law into British law. It currently contains a Henry VIII clause which will allow the Government to change parts of that law at will, without reference to Parliament. This cannot be allowed to stand.
At the moment, Parliament has no say over the new trade deals that are being negotiated. We are campaigning to change that.
A trade bill, which takes no account of the need for democratic oversight of trade negotiations, is also being rushed through Parliament. This bill threatens the public interest on a whole range of issues and must be stopped.
Another important campaign focus the power of the corporate lobby at Westminster.
But the power of the massive global corporations extends even further. Most bi-lateral trade treaties include corporate courts, run by corporate lawyers, where big corporations can sue national governments without any right to appeal
As well as negotiating withdrawal from the European Union, the Government will be seeking to make bilateral deals with other countries. Perhaps the most risky of these will be with the US, where many environmental, workplace and food standards are lower than in the UK. In addition, many US based corporations will be seeking to promote their interests in such a deal.
We don’t just want to campaign on negative issues. Trade is an important means by which people improve their lives. We support ethical trade that is fair, transparent and of benefit to all stakeholders. It is hoped that this blog will be a place where ways of achieving this can be discussed.
Currently, we support the Fairtrade mark and we are calling on Sainsbury’s not to abandon it.
Support the Day of Action on October 28th.
Big trans-national corporations, which failed to achieve their objectives through TTIP are now on the verge of achieving many of them through the back door. The distraction of Brexit and the threat to democracy makes is very difficult to campaign against CETA in the UK at the current time, but we continue to follow the international struggle.
The trade in services agreement is being negotiated between 23 WTO countries. See report here.
Fundamentally, #TiSA is about curtailing society’s ability to do two things: first, to democratically regulate and control the activities of multinational corporations engaged in the delivery of services; and second, to provide essential services to their citizens through the appropriate mix of public, not-for-profit and private services that they themselves decide.
We meet every fourth Wednesday of the month 7pm at varying locations (most often at Arena Point, 1 Hunts Bank M3 1UN) for discussion and action planning. Please call 07579008189 if you have any questions or email us
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