Oppose CETA (Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement) with Canada
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CETA is a trade deal that was negotiated in secret between the EU and Canada political and business leaders.
It is a threat to the ability of national and local governments to make decisions in the interests of their citizens. This is because it would allow foreign multinationals to sue our national government and local councils for passing regulations that affect their profits. Big business would be able to bring claims to special tribunals (outside our national legal system) in which judges are appointed on a case-by-case basis and work on an hourly pay. This means they would have an incentive to find in favour of the investor, as this generates more work for the judges and lawyers involved.
Under CETA, local governments would be subject to local procurement commitments that would bar them from favouring local companies and local economic development.
Foods associated to a specific area or region will not be protected: Canadian companies would be allowed to produce and export back here local specialties like the Melton Mowbray pie or the Red Leicester. Jobs would be at risk.
The special court system would work as a deterrent to discourage national and local governments from making decisions that that might attract multi-million lawsuits from well-funded corporations.
Globally, investors have challenged the increase of the minimum wage (in Egypt), the renationalisation of public services (water in Argentina), tax measures and fiscal policies, not to mention laws that protect public health, such as bans on toxic substances, requirements for risk and impact assessments and regulations relating to hazardous waste, suing governments to the tune of billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. Canadian Gabriel Resources is suing Romania for putting on hold the company’s planned gold and silver mine in Rosia Montana on environmental protection grounds.
CETA would also expose the UK to lawsuits from aggressive US subsidiaries domiciled in Canada, including Walmart, Google, IBM, ExxonMobil, McDonald’s, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Coca Cola and many others.
If CETA is approved before the UK leaves the EU, the UK could be tied to it for up to 20 years even if a different UK government wanted out. This is why it is vital to ensure CETA is stopped and why Leicester City Council should do its part in stopping it.
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