Power To The PLC
By Jack Doherty
These are busy times with things happening at many levels. While the superficial side of Brexit is being fought in Westminster, Brussels and living rooms up and down the country, Government Minister, Liam Fox, is busy signing post-Brexit trade deals in an unseemly hurry; the latest this week being with Norway and Iceland (!) .
In these trade deals he is swapping much of our sovereignty from Brussels to the big trading corporates who have their own powerful secretive corporate courts. These are not transparent and MPs have no say in their terms (what price Brexit!?). Through these secretive courts, the corporates are claiming billions of pounds from several countries if they enact anything which affects their profits, such as, raising the minimum wage orhealth standards. For example, Philip Morris Tobacconists are claiming £120 million from the Australian Government because their profits decreased after legislation for plain packaging cigarettes. This is an example of Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) or investment court system (ICS) which is ‘a system through which investorys can sue nations states for alleged discriminatory practices’.
It is time NOW to stop corporates hammering democracy, using this system of (ISDS) Investor State Dispute Settlement. Some countries are but not us as yet. It is terrible to be coughing up these millions of pounds which could be used for healthcare, education and mental health etc.
Campaigners from local group, Global Justice Now, were out on Saturday asking people in Bexhill to sign cards to Government /Liam Fox, for ISDS to be removed from all UK Trade and Investor deals because:
1) they undermine democracy,
2) they put Governments off regulating in the public interest,
3) they force governments to pay billions to corporations
4) they enforce corporate privilege and they are unnecessary!
• You can sign the UK petitition online: www.globaljustice.org.uk/ISDS
• Full details of the campaign are available at www.globaljustice.org.uk/trade
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