Leave.EU, the campaign group backed by multimillionaire UKIP donor Arron Banks, have shown ‘breath-taking hypocrisy’ in using TTIP as a reason to back Brexit. The exit campaign boast of their backing by big business and promise to cut ‘the top 100 regulations’ from the EU, which includes key environmental and workplace rights, because they damage corporate profit lines. But they still want you – and millions of progressive voters like you – to think they oppose TTIP. Far from rejecting it their policies and arguments sum up perfectly the agenda behind such corporate trade deals that would become the norm if Britain left the EU.
Luke Cooper, academic at Anglia Ruskin University and convenor of Another Europe Is Possible said:
“The hypocrisy of Leave campaigners is breath-taking. Leave.EU was co-founded by UKIP donor and multimillionaire businessman Arron Banks – are we really meant to believe him when he says he opposes the big business, free market TTIP agenda? UKIP has been promoting an extreme free market agenda for years, and only last week the Leave campaign boasted about its number of business backers.”
Nick Dearden, a spokesperson for Another Europe Is Possible and the Director of Global Justice Now, a leading force in the trade justice movement, said:
“All of the Brexit models we’ve seen depend on signing dozens of extreme free trade agreements like TTIP and outcompeting the EU through lower regulations. As such it’s underhand to suggest that if we leave the EU we get rid of TTIP. We will get something at least as bad and probably even worse.
“TTIP symbolises everything that’s wrong in Europe: the power of big business over democratic processes. But the movement to stop TTIP is enormous and shows that only be joining with campaigners from across Europe can we hope to restrict the power of big business.
“The power of big business is the biggest threat to our democracy today. But British governments have been in the driving seat for pushing corporate power in Europe, including supporting the most extreme version of TTIP, and they would continue to do so in a Britain outside the EU. In fact the only vision of a ‘Britain after exit’ that we’ve seen is of a big business paradise, a human rights free zone undercutting the standards that exist in the rest of Europe.”
Amelia Womack, the Deputy Leader of the Green Party and supporter of Another Europe Is Possible, added:
“With UK political leaders championing TTIP as well as other independent trade proposals in countries such as Ethiopia and Colombia, it is clear that Britain is more at risk from TTIP outside of the EU.
“Much of the ‘red tape’ the Leave campaign talks about are vital EU protections for workers’ and environmental rights, and the same rights that risk being stripped away in trade deals such as TTIP.
“If you are against TTIP then you need to campaign against the trade agreement itself and not against the EU. The anti-TTIP movement across Europe is growing, and over 3.4 million people have signed up to stop it. The UK leaving the EU would be damaging to this movement, with no guarantee that we won’t co-sign the agreement outside of the EU after the final proposals have been written, and without us having a say in its content.”
30th March 2016