I wish someone would tell me where this is

This is a continual claim:

One of the legitimate complaints against the EU is its determination to drag us into treaties that claim to be about trade but are really about releasing multinational corporations from democratic control. Three of the agreements it is trying to impose – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) – make a mockery of parliamentary sovereignty.

They threaten to reduce to the lowest common denominator the laws protecting us from predatory finance, the exploitation of workers, food adulteration, climate change and environmental destruction. They threaten to force the privatisation of public services.

Specifically that privatisation. I have at least skimmed two of those three. And I cannot find anything, anywhere, which advocates, insists upon, determines, hinders or advances privatisation.

I can find things which say that if you do privatise and then reverse then compensation must be paid but that’s a standard part of current law anyway.

Anyone help me out here? Where is this insistence or advancement of privatisation?

15 thoughts on “I wish someone would tell me where this is”

  1. Could it be tied to arguments against state assistance? If you have a healthcare company from outside competing with the NHS, then the NHS could be said to be receiving massive amounts of state aid, I guess.

  2. Yes as RA says, its probably going to be something to do with competition/State Aid – opening up contracts to private bodies that may be currently run by nominally independent contractors that are State owned, in the way many councils used to have ‘Direct Labour’ organisations that were companies wholly owned by the council, and magically always got all the contracts to resurface roads, and repaint schools etc.

    If State body A has complete ownership and management of asset B I doubt TTIP etc can force the State to privatise A, but if A uses contractors those contractors must be subject to State Aid rules and competitive tendering etc.

  3. I’m a shitload more interested in knowing where we can get progress reports on extricating ourselves and keeping momentum.
    I have this worry that May is going to keep us in by slow attrition and although Davis is negotiating earnestly only she can trigger 50.
    In hindsight the May/Leadsom stitch up looks like a ruse to keep the vote out of the party membership control b/c they’re anti EU.

    Show me I’m wrong – I’d really like that.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    It’s not just that it’s about competitive tendering in, say, healthcare it’s that US companies have to be allowed to tender on an equal footing.

    This is what it is really winding up he left, especially as they have to pay compensation if they want to renationalise.

  5. Gareth Too – write to your MP, write to May, maybe join UKIP, do anything to keep the pressure on.

  6. It’s a myth – a very useful myth to the complainers because it ties in with the (essentially true) “Tories insist on privatisation” trope.

    So …

    1. Privatisation is evil (and its corollary “governments giving money to private companies is evil.)
    2. Re-nationalisation costs (this is the status quo in most jurisdictions.)
    3. “Doing clever legal shit to drive private companies away without having to re-nationalise”, will under all of these treaties now subject to independent arbitration and compensation.

    => The treaties are evil.

    Accept the first axiom and the conclusion pops out.

  7. Governments giving money to private companies iis pretty ghastly. Governments buying stuff is a different kettle of worms…

  8. “One of the legitimate complaints against the EU”


    “One of the complaints my fellow Guardian readers and I make against the EU”

  9. ‘releasing multinational corporations from democratic control’

    Democratic control is nonsense; control of corporations by government is fascism.

  10. Privatisation – ok, I usually mention hospices lets try something different.
    Bin emptying. Been privatised around here quite some time for residential.
    Bins get emptied. No strikes in years, bins even get emptied on bank holidays now.

    How about post offices? They are having a strike soon.
    A strike that will not affect 97% of post offices – because those 97% are private. Decent service from the private ones, biggest delays and queues I have had have all been the state post offices. And the 97%, being self employed or small company, will tend not to strike.

    I can see the point of the state being the payer for goods and services. I cannot see the advantage in them also being the provider of the goods and services too.

  11. When we lived in S Australia, people could scarcely believe me when I said that our bins were emptied by employees of the local council.

    Mind, when we lived in NZ people could hardly believe me when I advocated tackling the imminent local water shortage by installing meters.

  12. Bloke in Costa Rica

    How did I know before even clicking on that link that it was by everyone’s favourite little ray of sunshine, Georges Mongbat? What a miserable, Eeyore-ish cunt. And that fucking suede jacket/round-necked t-shirt combo in his byline pic. Sweet jeezly fuck, that’s annoying. If the government sold him to the highest bidder they’d raise about twelvepence ha’penny.

  13. It is my understanding that only monopoly nationalised services are verboten under EU law. Publicly owned ‘municipalised’ services are not

  14. I think it’s fair to say that like everything in the EU, rules are made and broken to suit the needs of our glorious leaders.

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