Power shift from people to business

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There have been a lot of letters recently from people concerned about democracy, choice, loss of sovereignty and the EU.

What seems to have been missed however is the much greater power shift from people to big corporations.

Where are the cries for democracy when it comes to “trade” agreements such as the EU/USA Transatlantic deal (TTIP) currently being negotiated and supported with great enthusiasm by the UK Government?

This is being spun as freeing up trade, but is really about maximising the sell-off of public services (eg the health service) and lowering standards on food etc.

Multinational companies are pushing for rules that could for ever help ensure that future governments would not pass any legislation that would stop them from maximising their profits no matter if the laws are for protecting health, working conditions or the environment.

Under this deal the “independent” tribunal for “investor-state dispute settlements” would completely by-pass UK courts. Whose rules rule?

Will we be allowed to know what is the secret mandate the EU Commission has been given in these negotiations? Or as usual will the Government be hiding behind “commercial confidentiality” and siding with corporations against their own citizens?

Not content with promoting deals that would give multinationals excessive power over food systems in Europe, our Government is also using money from the International Aid budget for Africa to promote the interests of big companies and facilitate land grabs and corporate monopolies of seeds and the entire food production chain at the expense of small-scale farmers in Africa.

Ed Richardson

Ringmer