CETA is the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU (still including us) and Canada. In late October we saw the deal signed but that doesn’t mean it is set in stone yet – we still have a chance to stop it. The deal still has to be approved by the European Parliament and this vote is currently set to happen in February of next year.
Here at Jubilee Scotland we are very worried about this deal passing – the precedent that this sets for other such all-encompassing trade deals and the large-scale hand over of power from governments to corporations.
So, we decided to write to all the Scottish Members of the European Parliament asking them to vote against the deal and we hope you do too. You can find our letter here:
[Sent to the MEPs on the 25th of November, 2016]
The vote on CETA is fast approaching and so we thought it was an important time to express our concerns with the deal and join the millions across Europe asking you to vote against it. CETA is much more extensive than current trade deals- and not in a good way. This deal encroaches on our lives in so many different ways and could have detrimental effects on our environment, on our national health service and all the public services that we hold dear. Public services that allow us to protect and support the poorest in society are incredibly important and signing a trade deal which forces increasing levels of privatisation will erode these services.
Astonishingly, last night it was voted that the most controversial part of the deal – the Investment Court System- would not go to the European Court of Justice before the deal is voted on. That means the deal currently includes the ability for corporations to sue governments in a new, special court. We do not want corporations to control our economies and be able to override our democracy. Look to the experience of Canada since it signed NAFTA – a less intrusive trade deal – it is now the most sued country in the Western world. Giving corporations the power to sue governments if they pass legislation that will harm their profits will lead to us seeing even more value and power handed to those who value profits more than they value people’s lives. Under this trade deal we probably would not have been able to pass legislation banning damaging vulture funds from using our UK courts or pass new legislation limiting the profits banks make and pass on in bonuses. None of these changes are positive.
However, this deal will not only be detrimental for the Scottish people but will have global ramifications. This deal will force more people into free trade and liberalisation and could have a drastic effect on the developing world. In addition, deals like this are diverting trade away from the developing world and shutting them further out of the market. We cannot let these deals become the norm. We cannot let this deal set the precedent for future deals.
These are some of the many concerns we have against CETA and we would be happy to meet with you to discuss this further.
We very much hope that you will do the right thing and vote against CETA in the European Parliament.
Join us in writing to your MEP and expressing your concerns now. If you don’t have time to draft your own letter you can use the handy tool Global Justice Now created to email them in just a couple of minutes:
For some more information here’s a video ‘Lessons from Canada’ made the Council of Canadians about why CETA will be so devastating: