News Digest of the People’s Movement. No. 147 22 May 2016
The regular news digest of the People’s Movement, No. 147 is out now. It can be freely downloaded from the People's movement website and this issue has articles covering TTIP and a trade union view on Brexit. Recently Greenpeace published details of secret negotiations between the EU-US which were leaked and they indicated that EU officials had completely sold out to the US on all their corporate agenda demands. The TTIP agreement is by far and away the most undemocratic agreement ever devised and will shred protections of all kinds and oblierate the sovereignty every state that has this imposed on them. However the mainstream rightwing corporate media is not covering what is in TTIP and simply make false statements that it will bring jobs and growth, where the core issues are central to what it means to how society right across both the EU and US is run. Naturally our own mainstream political parties of FG and FF are completely for this corporate power grab of an agreement.
Contents of People's News Digest
1. Can we look forward to a referendum on TTIP?
2. Onward to a federal EU!
3. TTIP dispute system makes a mockery of justice
4. Brexit: a trade union view
5. CETA vote in EU Council of Ministers to take place in the autumn
6. TTIP a “serious threat to Irish farms”
7. European External Action Service: Another monster in the shadows
8. Germany not opposed to Britain finding a “quick solution” with Ireland following a possible withdrawal
9. Draft of TTIP impact assessment released—a year late
10. Some quotations from Jean-Claude Juncker
11. Vote on Roundup fails to materialise
12. EU long past its-sell by-date
The first three articles are reproduced here and the full contents can be download here
Archives of previous news digests can be found the People's Movement website at: http://www.people.ie/english5.html
Can we look forward to a referendum on TTIP?
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is being negotiated at present between the EU Commission and the US government. The Commission argues that the European economy could benefit to the tune of €199 billion a year. The Irish Government is firmly behind TTIP, despite staunch opposition in much of Europe.
One of the most controversial aspects of the proposed agreement is the inclusion of an investment court system, which, critics argue, would give corporations the power to sue sovereign states in trade disputes.
In a potential blow to the Government’s and El’s hopes for an agreement, legal opinion seen by the Irish Examiner claims that such a court system to be ratified would require a referendum.
Matthias Kelly SC, former chairperson of the Bar Council of England and Wales, said that the proposed investment court would “certainly infringe” the Constitution of Ireland in two areas and possibly three. In his opinion it
• would possibly infringe article 15.2.1, which vests the sole power to make laws in the Oireachtas,
• would certainly infringe article 34.1, which vests the power to dispense justice in the Irish courts, and
• certainly infringes article 34.3.2, which makes the High Court and the appellate courts above it the sole courts in which a law may be questioned.
Perhaps it’s time to prepare for another referendum?
Onward to a federal EU!
David Cameron’s claim that Britain will not become part of a “United States of Europe” has been undermined by the revelation that a document exists in which leading EU politicians call for the creation of a “federal union of states.”
The Times (London) reported that the document, which was signed last September in Rome by the speakers of the national parliaments of Germany, France, Italy, and Luxembourg, says that “concrete proposals” to deepen EU integration will be drawn up at a meeting next month. The declaration states that deeper integration “should not be limited to the field of economic and fiscal matters.”
“We are convinced that new impetus must be given to European integration,” it reads. “We believe that more, not less, Europe is needed to respond to the challenges we face. It should include all matters pertaining to the European ideal — social and cultural affairs as well as foreign, security and defence policy.”
Chris Gray ling, leader of the House of Commons, was sent the document. He told the Times that the declaration repre sented “serious plans for a political union.” Though Britain and Denmark would remain permanently outside, Gray ling said: “This new entity will still make our laws for us … we will have very little say in what happens.”
Harry Redhead, “ Plans were drawn up for a United States of Europe . ”
TTIP dispute system makes a mockery of justice
A leaked EU document, published on 19 May, reveals that European governments are secretly planning to introduce a special justice system for business investors throughout the EU.
The plan seeks to establish a set of legal privileges for corporations, undermining national courts and creating a parallel system open to foreign invest ors alone.
The proposed ISDS (investor - state dispute settlement) mechanism is already highly controversial. It would allow transnational corporations a unique power to challenge any new laws or regulations that could adversely affect their profits in futu re. The EU also plans to extend the power to North American corporations in the proposed TTIP and CETA (EU - Canada) agreement.
The EU public consultation on ISDS generated a record participation of 150,000 responses, with more than 97 per cent saying they did not wish to see such powers introduced. But the EU Commission has ignored the findings of the consultation and is pressing ahead regardless with the introduction of the new powers.
The executive director of War on Want, John Hilary, said: “This latest leak shows EU governments plotting to undermine the basic principle of equality before the law. Big business will get its own parallel justice system, and with it the power to sue us for any future public policy choices that go against corporate interests . Coming just one month before the UK referendum on EU membership, this is a further sign of the death of democracy in Europe.”
The proposal was tabled in secret at last month’s EU trade policy committee by the governments of Austria, Finland, France, Ger many and the Netherlands and was followed by the publication of a similar proposal on the web site of the lobbying group Business Europe in what appears to have been a co-ordinated action.
It seeks to remove the existing set of bilateral investment treati es between EU member - states and to introduce an all - embracing right for businesses to sue throughout Europe as a whole.
The document was brought to light by the European trade campaign Seattle to Brussels Network, of which War on Want is a member.
pn147.pdf 1.18 Mb