Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Last Chance to Stop CETA - MEPs Vote 6 February

I'm sure you appreciate the significance of CETA by now, so here's the last useful action you can take. It will only take a 10 minutes, but might change your future drastically! More than Trump!

As always, we need to target those who are wavering - the Socialist and Democrat block (S&D) MEPs. 

The S&D vote on CETA will be absolutely critical - and pressure is definitely working - despite heavy trade lobbying, several S&D MEPs came out against CETA on the ENVI committee. According to Global Justice Now, its on a knife-edge, with only 3 or 4 MEPs out of 22 needing to be convinced.

They are voting on the final S&D position next Monday, 6th Feb

To make it convenient , you could simply copy or slightly adapt the suggested email below, right down to the bottom, with the references, which are underneath to your local constituency S&Ds. They can be found simply by typing your postcode into https://www.writetothem.com/, or you can use the attached spreadsheet. (You can drag your mouse down the email address column to select a block - or all 22 at once if you wish - but take care not to call them 'my MEP' at the end !).

Pass this on anonymously please, to whoever, wherever you can.

Ideally you'd write your own email to them this week (preferrable), as this is not written by an expert (we don't like them any more do we ?)

In addition to this letter, if you're in a rural constituency, you could express concern that the Conservative government has chosen not to protect any geographical indicators ( see this UK parliamentary briefing ), which will obscure the origins of our food, and could risk eroding regional food and farming.

Dear MEP 

I am a resident in the [  London ] constituency.  

As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to pledge to vote against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA.

Firstly, I have deep concerns over transparency and democracy itself.  You are no doubt aware of how little democratic participation there has been in the development of CETA - as shown by this ETUC statement which highlights the woeful lack of trade union consultation (1).  Even as an MEP I gather that you too, were inadequately consulted, and that the final text of CETA was more or less presented to you as 'take it all, or leave it all' situation. You are aware of how contentious ICS is, with the opinion of over 100 German legal professors that it is incompatible with EU law.(2) Despite claims that ICS is a much improved version of ISDS, the hastily rebranded version essentially contains the same investor priveleges, often using the same text as the EU-Singapore agreement. (3)

You are also by now probably aware that the economic modelling used to justify CETA magically assumes full employment.  When the more realistic United Nations Global Policy Model is used, there are predicted losses of GDP, government revenues, and rising inequality.(4)  It is unsurprising therefore, that this report concludes that “CETA will lead not just to economic losses, but also will have negative implications for social cohesion in an already complex and volatile political context”.  I cannot believe that the S&D block would consider signing up to such a risk to the social fabric, on the basis of highly dubious claims of economic benefit.

In addition to overall GDP losses, any claims that CETA may benefit SMEs are also unfounded.  The Employment and Social Affairs commitee (EMPL) has stated that an estimated 90 million SME jobs in the EU would be at risk under CETA, as part of their overall reasoning to reject it. (5)

I simply cannot understand why any S&D MEP would vote to accept CETA, and I urge you to back the considered opinion of your colleague, Jude Kirton-Darling MEP : 'Why I would vote against CETA' (6)   Indeed, it is most likely that CETA is not compatible with the S&D block's stated aims : see the report (7) 'How does CETA stand up to the S&D block's 10 progressive principles for trade?'

Conservatives wish to see CETA as a 'progressive' blueprint for all future trade deals, enshrining the first ever negative listing of all public services.   I therefore urge you to take this opportunity to demonstrate that you will put a clear dividing line between the S&D block and the Conservatives, as the French S&Ds have clearly done  ( CETA C'est assez ! ) (8)  You must demonstrate that, unlike the Conservatives, you do not wish to see this as the blueprint for all future trade, as we leave the EU.

As my MEP, I very much count on your support to vote against CETA. 
[ Your name and address ]
[ If applicable : your Labour Party member number ]

(1) https://www.etuc.org/sites/ www.etuc.org/files/press- release/files/etuc-clc_ statement_on_ceta_en.pdf
(2) https://stop-ttip.org/blog/ legal-statement-on-investment- protection-in-ttip-and-ceta/
(3) https://corporateeurope.org/sites/default/files/attachments/zombie-isds-ex-sum-en_0.pdf
(4)  http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/ policy_research/ceta_ simulations.html
(5) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP// NONSGML+COMPARL+PE-593.983+02+ DOC+PDF+V0//EN&language=EN
(6) http://www.northeastlabour.eu/ why-i-would-vote-against-ceta- 0
(7) http://www.greenpeace.org/eu- unit/Global/eu-unit/reports- briefings/2016/201611%20CETA% 20and%20SandD%20progressive% 20trade%20principles.pdf
(8) http://www.deputes- socialistes.eu/ceta-cest- assez/

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