From Mr Robert Tatam
Sir, - After travelling to Brussels to participate in probably
the largest lobby ever (about 130 people rather than the 60 in your
report) of UK MEPs, I welcomed your news item (6 February) on this
lobby and the protests against the proposed Transatlantic Trade and
Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The possible deal is about much more, however, than "restricting
the rights of individual countries to legislate against articles
such as foodstuff if that was seen to block free trade". Two of
your earlier articles (Comment, 28 March and 3 October
2014) brought to our attention two wider negative
First, the proposed Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)
clause would allow companies the right to sue governments through
an "international arbitration process", if governments make
decisions that reduce a company's profits.
Second, the attempt to secure a general "harmonisation of
standards" between the United States and the European Union in a
wide range of legislative areas would undermine "regulation that
has been built up over decades to protect people and the
In spite of reassurances from government ministers and certain
MEPs, the future shape of the NHS could be determined by this deal.
The nature of the European Commission's proposals on "regulatory
co-operation", which has been described as "the ultimate tool to
prevent or weaken future public interest standards for citizens,
workers, consumers and the environment", is also a danger - if not
an absolute affront - to the democratic process.
There are many other potentially worrying features of TTIP which
could ultimately make an impact on our country's ability to
legislate democratically, and upon many issues in our daily
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