CETA will give unprecedented power to multinational corporations according to union.
A toxic free trade deal with Canada was approved by 408 votes to 254 in the European Parliament yesterday despite widespread protests across the continent and a petition against its ratification being signed by over 3.2 million citizens.
It now goes to the national legislatures of the EU member states, including the UK, for their approval before it becomes binding on them all, regardless of Brexit.
This means that the UK will lose control of its ability to decide which public services are outsourced and which are not; foreign multinational companies will be able to influence UK laws covering food safety and environment and, worst of all, corporations will be given the ability to sue the British government if it does anything to affect their projected profits.
Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International officer, said:
“We have been repeatedly been told by the Government that Brexit means taking back control.
“Yet in voting for CETA, Conservative MEPs gave their seal of approval to a toxic trade and investment deal that will give unprecedented power and influence not just to Canadian multinational companies but also to US corporations, 85% of whom have subsidiaries in Canada.
“This is effectively a trade deal with the USA via the back door and, if allowed to proceed, will do irreparable harm to the British economy and seriously undermine the concept of a sovereign British state.”
Kathleen Walkershaw, GMB European Officer, added:
“In or out of EU, this damaging trade deal will be the blue print for future deals.
“GMB commends the MEPs who saw this deal for what it was and rightly opposed it. Sadly they were in the minority.
“It is now down to member states to ratify - stopping it in national parliaments is the last chance.
“Will our parliament find its bottle?
"Or are our jobs standards and public services doomed by people with their heads stuck in the Westminster bubble rather than the real world who are always on the wrong side of an argument?
“Trade policy needs to go urgently back to the drawing board and start putting people before profit.
"If taking control is to mean anything this will be its serious test.”
Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org