Can you offer your IT skills to help build a website to challenge the pro-corporate bias in UK trade deals?

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Posted Oct 24 2017 by Linda Kaucher of Stop TTIP uk
Could you be part of a team working to challenge pro-corporate bias in UK trade deals?

Website help needed: with Brexit, the UK will be heading into international ‘trade’ deals, which are likely to be as much about establishing corporate rights and diminishing democracy as the EU/US TTIP – a deal that is now on the back-burner.

In addition, the UK will be part of whichever deals the EU has provisionally or fully implemented by the Brexit date, for some years (either three or twenty, depending on the stage of implementation).

This will include the Canada/EU free trade deal, CETA, which was 90% provisionally implemented in September 2017, and others, for example with Japan and Vietnam, which appear to be imminent.

The UK government has made it clear that a deal with the US will be its priority and in fact there is now talk of the UK joining NAFTA (North American Free Trade agreement – US, Canada and Mexico) as NAFTA is currently being renegotiated.

A deal with India is also being touted, though not the fact that, on the experience of the EU/India deal that has not (yet) come to fruition, it would be all about providing cheap labour for the corporate sector, undercutting UK workers.

The Department for International Trade already has working groups involving its bureaucrats, covering around 10 potential trade agreements. All the usual horrors will be there, including ISDS, giving corporations the right to sue governments if they introduce any legislation (including minimum wage, environmental protection or plain cigarette packaging) that can be shown to reduce their profits.

Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Trade is a danger, as he has previously run an organisation that was the ‘bridge’ for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) a powerful US group of businesses and legislators that lobbies at the political level, and prepares corporate-interest legislation and gets it passed. There would be a very big question as to whom Liam Fox would be working for in any US/UK trade negotiating.

The City of London, which is in fact nothing at all to do with London – it’s a transnational corporate financial services hub – is the key mover in UK trade policy, and Liam Fox has stated that he will prioritise the interests of financial services in any negotiating. StopTTIPuk held a symposium with presentations by experts on various aspects of City of London fiddling (eg LIBOR fixing, tax evasion, PFI etc) and those presentations are worth transferring to a new UKTradeDealsWatch website.

The StopTTIP website has been useful, and has now run its course. We now need to be on top of UK trade deal developments and to provide a website on which information on relevant developments are shared and accessible.

We’re looking for a website creator for a UKTradeDealsWatch website, with a commitment to ongoing updating of the site.

I’d be very glad to hear from anyone who wants to offer IT help on this.

Linda Kaucher

[email protected]

Main image: CredoAction