Pub­lic meet­ing to op­pose trade deal

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

AC­TIVISTS who are op­posed to a trade deal which they say threat­ens Mac­cles­field’s busi­nesses and ser­vices are hold­ing a pub­lic meet­ing.

Mem­bers of the Mac­cles­field branch of Global Jus­tice Now have de­cided to host the meet­ing about the Transat­lantic Trade and In­vest­ment Part­ner­ship (TTIP), a pro­posed trade deal be­tween the EU and USA to cut trade tar­iffs and ease reg­u­la­tion be­tween the two mar­kets.

They have signed up a lec­turer from Manch­ester Univer­sity to speak.

TTIP sup­port­ers say it will make goods cheaper and help busi­nesses by open­ing up mar­kets.

But cam­paign­ers say the deal could have a real im­pact on Mac­cles­field, threat­en­ing small busi- nesses which would face in­creased com­pe­ti­tion from cor­po­ra­tions. They also say it would put the NHS in dan­ger.

Ear­lier this month the govern­ment was forced to ac­cept an amend­ment to the Queen’s Speech to make the NHS ex­empt from the trade deal.

Natalie Ab­bott, from Global Jus­tice Mac­cles- field, said: “TTIP is a toxic trade deal that gives greater pow­ers to cor­po­ra­tions.

“It will af­fect the ser­vices we re­ceive and stop the coun­cil award­ing con­tracts to lo­cal in­de­pen­dent sup­pli­ers, which will make Mac­cles­field poorer.

“Last week’s u-turn to avoid a his­toric de­feat of the Queen’s Speech is an ad­mis­sion that the NHS needs pro­tect­ing from TTIP.

“Our cam­paign is build­ing in Mac­cles­field and we’ll con­tinue to fight against TTIP.”

Cheshire East’s Cabi­net has re­jected a mo­tion by Labour coun­cil­lors call­ing on the coun­cil to write to the Secretary of State for Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Govern­ment and MPs to raise con­cerns and com­mis­sion an as­sess­ment of how TTIP will af­fect Cheshire East.

Janet Jack­son, for Mac­cles­field Cen­tral, said: “We raised con­cerns that Cheshire East will be af­fected dra­mat­i­cally by the trade agree­ment and are dis­ap­pointed Cabi­net re­jected our mo­tion.

“Mac­cles­field hos­pi­tal could face fur­ther pri­vati­sa­tion of ser­vices, spi­ralling costs of drugs and many be­lieve we’ll ul­ti­mately lose our hos­pi­tal.

“TTIP isn’t about free trade but in­creas­ing cor­po­rate power and un­der­min­ing the ca­pac­ity of gov­ern­ments to reg­u­late pub­lic pol­icy.”

‘The Truth about TTIP’, with Dr Gabriel SilesBrugge, pol­i­tics lec­turer at the Univer­sity of Manch­ester, is at 7.30pm on Wed­nes­day, June 29 at The Park Tav­ern.

●● Mac­cles­field mem­bers of Global Jus­tice Now which is against the TTIP

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