Tuesday 30 August 2016

TTIP is dead in the water, but post-Brexit Britain could be in for something even worse

Remember all that opportunistic Brexiter fearmongering about the TTIP corporate power grab? Remember how they said we had to quit the EU to avoid the horror of this US-EU corporate takeover? Remember how they scoffed when people like me pointed out that it's catastrophically unpopular with the European public, the negotiations are failing (especially after the major leak of secret negotiation documents in May 2016) and that it was as good as dead because Greece and Portugal had vowed to veto it?

Well in the last couple of days the German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has said that the TTIP negotiations have "de facto failed" and the French trade minister Matthias Fekl has publicly demanded the whole thing gets scrapped. Never mind the fact that Greece had a veto the whole time, if the French and Germans are no longer on board, the TTIP project has been completely and totally derailed.

Within a couple of months of the vote for Brexit it's completely obvious that TTIP is doomed.The sooner the whole pro-corporate sovereignty-grab gets thrown on the scrap heap the better for the people of the EU.

Meanwhile in Britain the Tories (who were always passionately in favour of the TTIP corporate power grab) are reinvigorated after Brexit and by the Blairite decision to use Brexit as an excuse to self-destruct the Labour Party instead of holding the Tories to account for Cameron's failed EU gamble and the plethora of lies spewed by the Tory Vote Leave mob.

As a result of this Tory rejuvenation we're looking at the prospect of a savagely right-wing bunch of Tories negotiating a US-UK corporate power grab that will make the failed TTIP project look like a pleasant walk in the park in comparison. We've witnessed a classic "out of the frying pan, into the fire" manoeuvre from the British electorate.

Hillary Clinton is clearly another corporate puppet to follow Obama, so a corporate power grab negotiated between her team and the likes of the Boris Johnson and the disgraced Liam Fox (maybe he'll invite his special friend Adam Werrity along to sit in on the classified negotiations?) could be spectacularly bad. But if the American electorate are bonkers enough to elect Donald Trump as President, just imagine the kind of environmentally ruinous, pro-corporate, anti-worker, consumer protection destroying shit-show Trump and the Tories could concoct between them.

The Tories are still stalling on invoking Article 50 (because they're terrified of actually pressing the economic self-destruct button), so any potential trade deal with the US is years away yet, but it doesn't matter whether it's Clinton or Trump on the other side of the negotiating table, it's absolutely clear that if the Tories are on the British side of the negotiating table, they will be negotiating on behalf of the corporations and the super-rich millionaires who bankroll their party, and against the interests of ordinary British workers.

It's a sad irony that Brexiter fearmongering about the doomed TTIP corporate power grab has led us into a situation where the remainder of the EU quickly ends up chucking the whole TTIP debacle in the bin, while the British public will likely end up getting lumbered with a Tory negotiated US-UK pro-corporate anti-worker charter that's far far worse than the aborted TTIP experiment ever would have been.

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