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Greens urge Southwark to say no to TTIP

Motion about TTIP is to be discussed at tonight's Council Assembly meeting and Southwark Greens are urging residents to contact their councillors asking they back the motion and vote against TTIP.

Councillor Gavin Edwards has put forward a motion concerning TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) which is to be discussed at tonight's Council Assembly.

The motion, at present, reads:

"1. Council assembly notes that there has been no impact assessment about the potential impact of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, currently being negotiated by the EU and USA, on local authorities, and that there has been no scrutiny of the negotiating texts by local government and no consultation with local government representatives.
2. Council assembly believes that TTIP could have a detrimental impact on local services, employment, suppliers and decision-making. In particular, TTIP could effectively prevent public services from being brought back in- house, which could have a negative impact on Southwark where significant improvements have been made by bringing services back in-house, such as the council’s revenues and benefits service in 2011.
3. Council assembly notes that Labour MEPs have been campaigning to ensure that, should a trade agreement between the EU and the USA be concluded, it does not in any way limit the ability of public authorities, whether at local, national or European level, to act for the public interest.
4. Council assembly welcomes the amendments to the recently adopted European parliament resolution successfully moved by Labour MEPS for a full exclusion of all public services, present or future, from the scope of the agreement, as well as a clear rejection of any type of measures that could undermine public authorities’ autonomy and sovereignty, including at local level, and their commitment to veto any agreement that fails to address these concerns.
5. Council assembly believes that a thorough impact assessment of TTIP on local authorities must be undertaken before the negotiations can be concluded.
6. Council assembly calls on the cabinet to:
•    Write to the secretary of state for communities and local government, local MPs and London MEPs, raising our serious concerns about the impact of TTIP on local authorities and the secrecy of the negotiating process.
•    Write to the Local Government Association to raise our serious concerns about the impact of TTIP on local authorities and ask them to raise these with government on our behalf.
•    Join with other local authorities and local campaigners to raise awareness about our concerns over TTIP and call for an impact assessment on the impact of TTIP on local authorities.
Note: If the motion is agreed, any proposals will be submitted to the cabinet for consideration."

Southwark Green Party think the proposed motion is not strong enough, as the deal gives corporations a huge potential over decision-making, locally and nationally. Eleanor Margolies, of Southwark Green Party said, 'We would like to see Southwark state its clear opposition to the proposed trade deal and declare the borough a TTIP-free zone, like neighbouring Lewisham had done."

Across Europe, over 3,200,000 people have signed the 'European CItizens Initiative against TTIP and CETA' which states, "We call on the institutions of the European Union and its member states to stop the negotiations with the USA on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and not to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada."

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