Human Rights No, Corporate Rights Yes?

Andrew Norton's picture

It’s become a hallmark of British Government that they say one thing and do another. Rarely is it ever so cut-and-dried as with the current Conservative government.

Much has been made over the last few weeks about the desires of the Prime Minister to leave the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Cameron has said he wants to bring more powers back to London, because he doesn’t like the way it ‘hands power’ off – powers we British have given to that court more than 60 years ago. Most notably, he doesn’t like the way it often deals with his right wing agenda of disenfranchising people, and creeping towards a police state, but seems to be championing the way with misinformation.


It’s quite surprising to note then, that he has not been an outspoken critic of the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) or the Comprehensive  Economic and Trade  Agreement (CETA) which was released yesterday. In fact, he has been portrayed as a massive supporter of the TTIP, and CETA.

“Why is that surprising?”, you might ask, and the answer is simple. The entire thrust of his anti-ECHR campaign, has been that the court takes power ‘out of London’. He has no problem with ‘Human Rights’, but wants to somehow bring it entirely inside the UK, no matter the outside cost (there may well be significant consequences to leaving the ECHR). In essence, he wants a UK subservient only to UK judges. 

Andy Halsall : EU-US free trade deal must not diminish European standards

The free trade agreement between Europe and America raises the possibility that consumer, employee and environmental protections will be seen as inconveniences that can be reduced rather than levelled between the two partners.

The wave of announcements on both sides of the Atlantic on the proposed negotiations between the European Union and the United States on the 'world's biggest ever' free trade deal came with a surge of positive predictions of such an agreement's impact and not without good reason. After all, the EU and US enjoy one of the closest economic partnerships in the world and certainly the largest.

If you look at the relationship in terms of bilateral trade, the picture is pretty clear with more than €2bn a day passing between the two in 2012. According to the Office of the US Trade Representative, transatlantic investment is directly responsible for around 6.8 million jobs. It is a relationship that has a broad impact. Not only does it help to produce economic prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic but also in dozens of other trading partners around the world.

It is hard to argue that any measures that might make this partnership more efficient, or remove barriers to competition would not be a good thing. Of course, as with any relationship in which both sides are competing, the positive aspects come with a few negatives. Disagreements and tariffs may be minor but they do pose a barrier to access for both EU and US businesses. Current subsidies and state support ensure that in some areas competition is less than ideal, or even impossible.

TTIP - Trading away our rights

The Issue.

The US/EU Free Trade agreement (which is also known as The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)) will be the biggest free trade agreement ever, if it is signed.

Game Politics: ACTA Provisions Rise From the Grave in CETA

Less than a week after the European Parliament voted to soundly reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), opponents of that measure are crying foul on a back door deal to get some of the treaty's worst provision enacted as part of another treaty.

"There now seems to be an new secret strategy to slip the most discredited aspects of ACTA into a different trade agreement," noted Loz Kaye, leader of the Pirate Party.

Wednesday, 11 July, 2012 - 01:00

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