Ploumen Plan doesn’t match dangers of TTIP

2 March 2015

Ploumen Plan doesn’t match dangers of TTIP

Trade Minister Lilianne Ploumen today joined five EU member state colleagues in launching a plan for an international court to settle trade disputes. In doing so Ploumen is at last recognising the dangers presented by the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), a clause in trade agreements which allows corporations to bring legal actions against states. But in the SP’s assessment the government’s plan is insufficient to counter the damaging effects of the free trade agreements with the US and Canada, respectively the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

"This proposal looks very much like a sop,’ says SP Euro-MP Anne- Marie Mineur. ‘It’s a misunderstanding to think that ISDS is the heart of the matter. Setting up an international court solves none of the other fundamental problems that will arise if these agreements are signed. Job losses, destruction of our rights as workers and harmful effects on food safety are just some of the consequences which these treaties are going to have. We are calling on the government then not to amend the ISDS slightly, but to throw out these treaties in their entirety."

Jasper van Dijk, Member of Parliament for the SP in The Hague, insists that he ‘would like clarification of this plan before Wednesday’s parliamentary debate next week.’ Van Dijk has asked for a written statement on the initiative from Ploumen. ‘Moreover,’ he notes, ‘such a court would still circumvent the national judicial process. In addition, I want the minister to tell us what will happen when the European Commission throws her plan out.’ Given that these treaties will have a far-reaching effect on people’s everyday lives in the Netherlands, the SP is also calling for a referendum on both agreements.

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