Phillip Inman reports that MPs have “won” access to TTIP documents, but can only view and not record them (MPs to see TTIP papers under strict rules, 19 February). What can the justification for this secrecy be when at the same time the government (and the EU) insist that TTIP is a good deal for all of us? Usually, when an individual or organisation has something that will benefit you, they are eager to tell you about it. With the honourable exception of Caroline Lucas, and I would hope some others, it seems incredible that our MPs either are, or are pretending to be, insouciant to the irony that they are being grudgingly granted limited access only to the details of a treaty that will demote the interests of democratically elected governments below those of multinational corporations.
Because Dave, it’s still being negotiated. Contract negotiations are not held in public. It’s the final agreement that is then presented for approval or rejection.
I can understand why Unite is concentrating on the NHS, which it hopes will be exempt from TTIP, but the implications go far wider (Report, 22 February). Few commentators seem aware of the negative effect of TTIP on our ability to tackle climate change. Suppose in 10 to 15 years that several fracking firms were operating in the UK and the government decided the continued extraction of shale gas or shale oil were incompatible with our climate change commitments. Under TTIP, those companies could sue the British government and the result would either be massive compensation or the repeal of the UK’s Climate Change Act. The decision will not be taken by politicians, but by unaccountable lawyers meeting in secret and applying the terms of the trade deal.
Yes, quite, that’s the point of the ISDS provisions. To stop investors being screwed over by politicians changing their minds after they’ve made their investments. Andthey get to do so in courts not run by the governments or politicians doing the screwing over.
That’s the whole fucking point.
It’s absolutely no different at all from compulsory purchase of your house for a railway line. Government can do this, undoubtedly, because the public good of the railway line overcomes your property rights. But they’ve got to pay you full market value, before the railway line plans, when they do so. Government can pass a law stopping fracking any time it likes. It’s just got to compensate those who have spent money developing fracking operations under the previous laws that allowed them to do so.