Global Justice Post Brexit Public Meeting – report
At a packed meeting in Kendal Nick Dearden, National Director of Global Justice Now and Tim Farron spoke out to emphasise the need for the right post-Brexit deal to be struck.
Nick outlined GJN’s position on seven Brexit “Red Line” issues covering protecting workers and human rights, tax justice, safe and sustainable food, preserving the UK’s sovereignty against corporate power in trade deals, and on climate change and the environment. He said “we need to overcome the hatred and xenophobia in the national debate by creating an economy that responds to people’s needs, that values equality and that is sustainable”.
Farron responded by congratulating GJN on coming up with these red lines and replied that he supported “all or most” of them. He said “if, for example, we really were to pull out of the European Human Rights Convention, we would be left within Europe in a category with perhaps only Belarus. We wouldn’t be able to speak with dignity about human rights or civil liberties anywhere in the world.
Both speakers emphasised the need for the government to respond to the climate change crisis by switching financial incentives to favour renewable energy technologies such as those supplied by Kendal firm Gilkes rather than fossil fuels.
The speakers agreed passionately about the need to reinforce Britain’s responsibility towards refugees as a key to ensuring the country remains outward looking and internationalist in the Brexit negotiations.
Nick Dearden closed the meeting by saying “We have shown by the defeat of the proposed EU-US trade deal TTIP that ordinary people can change things for the better. To all those who want things to be better there’s one message – get active and make it so.”
After the meeting Tim Farron thanked Global Justice South Lakes for organising the debate.
CETA action. Handover of petition to Tim Farron – our local MP and leader of the LIB DEMS
We released a Press Release – see below. However, we wait to see if our local paper will print it!!
Over a thousand local residents sign petition against more legal powers for big corporations Last Friday, local residents including supporters of Global Justice Now and South Lakes Action on Climate Change presented a petition to Tim Farron MP signed by over a thousand of his constituents. The petition demands that provisions for a separate court system for multinational and foreign companies be removed from trade and investment agreements between the EU and Canada (CETA) and the EU and the US (TTIP), because they bypass national court systems and would enable multinational companies to sue governments for millions or billions of pounds for potential loss of future profits if decisions by governments appear to threaten their interests. There is ample evidence already of misuse of similar clauses in existing trade and investment agreements, including by US oil and tobacco companies, and by Canadian mining and fracking companies, and also evidence that government decisions have been watered down or even reversed in consequence. The provisions in CETA would open the UK to challenges from the powerful US multinationals as well as Canadian companies, because over 80% of US companies operating in the EU also have offices in Canada. We cannot risk any new climate legislation being undermined by powerful US oil companies, or any threats by big multinationals to our legislation to protect our food standards, health and safety, environment, and employment rights. These provisions are called ISDS – Investor State Dispute Settlement, or ICS – Investment Court System, and the briefing document www.bit.ly/ICSISDS provides links to useful references.