Apr 20th, 2015
Bristol’s TTIP day of action
By Rebecca Falcon
In the blazing sunshine on Saturday 38 Degrees members were out spreading the word about TTIP – the dodgy trade deal that’s a threat to our democracy and our NHS.
Here’s what Bristol West’s candidates said they’d do about TTIP in a recent survey conducted by 38 Degrees members:
Question: Do you support the ratification of TTIP?
LABOUR CANDIDATE – THANGAM DEBBONAIRE
Yes, but with the removal of the NHS and public services, plus the removal of the Investor State Dispute Resolution System (ISDS). Labour is clearly and publicly opposed to including public services and to the ISDS and will not support the TTIP if these remain.
LIBERAL DEMOCRAT – CANDIDATE STEPHEN WILLIAMS
I am not against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in principle but I certainly believe it must be negotiated with care. Negotiations are ongoing but if and when the EU is satisfied and reaches an agreement with the US over TTIP, the final agreement will be sent to the 28 EU national parliaments. At this stage the UK Parliament will have the opportunity – in plenty of time – to fully scrutinise TTIP through debates in both Houses. Simply put, if I believe that TTIP will not benefit the UK then I will vote against it.
What I would also like to make clear is that neither the EU nor the US are looking to lower standards through the TTIP process and we have not authorised the EU to agree to anything in TTIP that would do that. The high standards of food and environmental safety we enjoy in the UK are not up for negotiation and there is nothing in TTIP that allows for a reduction or watering-down of the UK’s food, environmental, health or labour standards.
I know also that some people are worried about the potential impact on the NHS. However, As both the Government and the EU Trade Commissioner have made clear, the NHS is excluded from TTIP negotiations. The balance between public and private provision of public services will – quite rightly – continue to remain with national governments regardless of the progress of TTIP.
GREEN CANDIDATE – DARREN HALL
I am emphatically against any proposal developed by big business simply in order to be able to achieve greater profits. We must stand by the EU legislation that protects our air and water, and ensure our standards are not driven down by US corporations. I want to see full transparency in the negotiations, at which point I suspect we will all be able to see TTIP for what it really is.
INDEPENDENTS FOR BRISTOL CANDIDATE – DAWN PARRY
LEFT UNITY CANDIDATE – STEWART WESTON
If elected as the Member of Parliament for Bristol West I will oppose the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the USA. TTIP is a threat to the public sector, especially our National Health Service. . Once ratified by the government TTIP would prevent future governments from extending public ownership in effect it would be forbidden to do so. Even finding itself in a similar position to Mexico I reject TTIP and will oppose this pernicious treaty in its entirety. Unfortunately all of Britain’s major parliamentary parties remain committed to signing away our right to govern as the voters see fit. Stopping TTIP will be one of my main priorities, we have to unite all those who oppose the treaty in Britain and internationally. Even if not elected, we must continue to campaign for a Referendum to defeat this Treaty. This changes the way we’re governed and should be decided by plebiscite of the people with the full facts and text placed before all of us.
UKIP CANDIDATE – PAUL TURNER
But I would support a free trade agreement with the USA.
CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE – CLAIRE HISCOTT
Subject to intense scrutiny and debate! TTIP aims to open up the US market to EU companies including SME’s. It protects entirely our public services including the NHS, contrary to scaremongering by some groupings. We have very similar agreements with Canada and other countries and can be hugely helpful for our export markets and businesses. Before the ratification of TTIP it will be open to scrutiny, debate and revision, by both the Westminster parliament and the EU parliament. I am confident that this scrutiny will ensure the TTIP is right for the UK.