Lewisham Labour have voted to oppose the Canadian/EU trade Treaty, CETA (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), to ensure that public services are protected against corporate interests.
Lewisham Council previously voted unanimously against TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) due to concerns around ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement). CETA contains a similar mechanism called Investment Court System, which would enable corporation to sue governments if they think their profits are hindered by regulation.
Cllr Paul Bell, the proposer of the motion, said “CETA is just a clone of TTIP and is just as anti-democratic. The fact that this deal has happened behind closed doors and that parliaments across Europe have had little input is very concerning. It is equally shocking that our own MPs will only be able to debate the deal after it has been signed by EU officials.
Investment Court System allows companies to sue governments for lost profits if they introduce laws to protect people or the environment. This could easily include laws around public health such as anti-smoking regulations or sugar reduction campaigns. Government need to be able to introduce legislation that protect citizens without fear of corporations suing them.
CETA will come before the European parliament in early February for a Yes or No vote and we have called on all our London MEPs to vote against this deal. This trade deal must not go head in its current form as government must not be hindered in protecting the public because of corporate interests.”