About Lewes Stop Toxic Trade Deals
Lewes Stop Toxic Trade Deals is a group of local people concerned about the potential impact of various neo-liberal trade deals such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) . These trade deals enforce the transfer of public wealth into private hands, have secret corporate courts embedded within them and the de-regulation of standards, such as food, environmental and health.
Lewes Stop Toxic Trade Deals was formerly knows as Lewes Stop TTIP, principally campaigning against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal. In 2016 TTIP was defeated, as it had become completely TOXIC through a Europe wide grass roots campaign. Now we have decided to widen the scope of our campaign against not only toxic trade deals but the privatisation intrinsic to them.
We currently are focusing our campaign on the privitisation and cuts being inflicted on our NHS.
‘PATIENTS BEFORE PROFITS’
27th October 2017, All Saints Centre Lewes
The team at Lewes Stop Toxic Trade Deals would like to thank everyone who made it along to our event Patients Before Profits.
We had a great evening with fantastic music from Pam Hewitt and Peter Faulkner and the intense and moving poetry of Gus Watcham, followed by our great speakers Janet Sang from Sussex Defend the NHS, Gary Palmer from the GMB union, Louise Bray-Allen and nurse and UNISON member and Dr Carl Walker a lecturer from the School of Applied Social Science at University of Brighton.
They spoke about the importance of building a campaign to defend the NHS locally as plans for the STP’s (Sustainability and Transformation Plans) begin to be rolled out in this area.
‘BREXIT; NOT THE END OF TOXIC TRADE DEALS’
17th October 2016, Phoenix Centre Lewes
Play to listen to the speakers: Mark Dearn , War on Want and Guy Taylor, Global Justice Now.
Both speakers were very clear that although TTIP has not officially gone from the EU agenda, TTIP has been defeated. Thanks to the fantastic international campaign and terrible publicity due to leaks, the deal is now widely known about and hugely unpopular and is no longer politically achievable. This is a terrific victory and shows what we are doing to apply pressure is working.
Unfortunately TTIP is only one part of the story. Many other deals following similar pro privatisation, big business agendas that would erode safety standards and allow corporations to sue governments are on the horizon. Notably CETA and TISA.
These deals are part of a wider free market ideology that puts the pursuit of profit above the interests of the world’s people and the environment. Already this has resulted in increasing global inequalities with a 40% drop in relative standards for the poorest over the past five years and 69 of the top 100 economic entities being multi-nationals, the other 31% being countries! It is these corporations and their lobbyists who have effectively written the 1,500 pages of the CETA deal. There is always fanciful talk about wealth creation and trickle-down effect but in reality the rich get disgracefully rich and the poor suffer austerity. Our campaign must continue.
Anyone who thought leaving the EU would help rid us of these deals is likely to be disappointed. Our current UK government is in favour of these policies and was one of the greatest supporters of TTIP. With Britain negotiating international deals alone, they could be even worse and we won’t have the benefit of a European wide campaign against them. Many of the leaks that helped defeat TTIP came from German MEPs.
The key message from the meeting was our campaigns are working, the deals are in crisis, yet they are part of a wider agenda that has huge power and is not about to go away. Our struggle for democracy, human rights and the environment therefore continues.
Lewes Stop TTIP at the ‘END AUSTERITY NOW’ national demonstration
20th June, Central London
Members of Lewes Stop TTIP joined with 250,000 other activists to protest against the Austerity and Cuts being imposed by our government. TTIP is part of a wider attack on our rights, services and regulations, undermining our democracy and handing more and more power to big business.
‘LETS MAKE A TRADE DEAL’
31st May 2015, All Saints Centre Lewes
We held an amazing event in Lewes on the 31st May 2015. We estimate two hundred people came along and we collected just under 100 new signatures on the European Citizens Initiative petition!
We started off the evening with interactive stalls, including TTIP bingo, Build your own Trade Deal and the drama of an ISDS court. These stalls were a real hit and really complimented the informed and passionate analysis of our speakers.
There was a lively debate and our last minute speaker Professor John Calvert gave a fascinating insight into the Canadian experience of living with the consequences of NAFTA (the North American Free-Trade Agreement) for over 20 years.
TTIP is so important and getting more people informed about it is crucial if we are going to defeat it as ACTA was in 2012.