The leaked documents from TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) were a shock to the world yesterday. It could very well mark the end of the hated EU-US trade deal and a key moment within the Brexit debate. Up until now, there have been fantastical levels of secrecy to the point where anyone who leaks the contents of the treated could have been tried for criminal offenses.
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Greenpeace highlights the importance:
“It is time to shine a light on these negotiations. Hard won environmental progress is being bartered away behind closed doors. These documents reveal that civil society was right to be concerned about TTIP. We should stop the negotiations and start the debate”, said Faiza Oulahsen, campaigner for Greenpeace Netherlands. “The complete and most recent version of the treaty text should be released at once, so that citizens and elected representatives have the chance to understand what is being proposed in their names.”
The TTIP leak runs 248 pages and covers 13 of the 17 chapters where the final agreements began to take shape. The texts include things like EU food standards as well as the US plan to end Europe's ban on genetically modified foods.
The documents show that US corporation will be given unprecedented powers over any new public health or safety regulations that will be introduced in the future. If any European government does dare to bring in any laws to raise the standards of social or environmental standards, the US investors will be able to sue them for loss of profits.
The leaked texts also say that the European Commission will open up the European economy to unfair competition from US corporations. These giants will likely bring failure to the European producers, even though they have higher standards.
Initially, there was a 30-year publish ban on public access to the TTIP negotiation texts mainly because they knew there would be a public outcry.
The leak comes as many senior politicians across Europe have tried to distance themselves from the deal. President Hollande said this weekend that France will veto any agreement in accordance with TTIP that could endanger the country’s agricultural sector. Germany’s economy minister Sigmar Gabriel has warned of the TTIP collapsing, and has pointed the finger at US intransigence as the cause.
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The writing was on the wall for a long time.