A SINISTER deal is currently being cooked up between the European Union and the USA. I am referring to something called The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The main goal of TTIP is to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by trans-national corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. Crucial to that goal is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which would allow big companies to sue governments, including ours, over decisions which affect their profits.

The ‘barriers’ referred to are in reality some of our most prized social standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules (including restrictions on GMOs). Regulations in the USA which cover these issues are generally weaker than those that apply in Europe, so what the ISDS will lead to is a race to the bottom, in which our relatively strong regulations will be weakened in order to match those in the USA.

The ISDS will be enforced through secretive tribunals which will be able to overrule our own laws. Governments which are found to be in breach of TTIP rules could be fined hundreds of millions of pounds. This represents an outrageous attack on our democratic system but it is supported by all three major parties! Only the Green Party objects.

C Shakesheff, Chepstow