SIR, I am writing to raise awareness of the very low key (virtually secret) Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, trade deal being heavily forced on to Europe by the US government; who themselves are being pressed into pursuing this deal by large, hugely influential, global businesses who wield massive financial clout over all nations.

I strongly believe that the TTIP deal has the potential to create serious disadvantages for all citizens of EU nations. Given who is behind the deal, it’s hardly surprising that the TTIP deal promotes the interests of big businesses. This deal is definitely NOT about making life better for Joe Public.

For example, part of the deal makes provisions for large global companies to be able to sue the governments of individual nations in cases where those nations pass laws that businesses might not like, because they create a possible barrier to business interests. So, any laws passed will have to be prioritised in the interests of big business, as opposed to being focussed on the interests of individual nations, or the citizens of those nations. Under such circumstances, it is difficult not to see a weakening of the protection that our government will be able to give to our NHS against the ever aggressive call for further privatisation. Things like employees rights are almost certain to be eroded; even more than they already have been. Health and Safety at work regulations will undoubtedly come under serious threat. Current protection relating to food standards is another candidate. (Apparently, food standards in the US allow for the bleaching of chicken which is designated for the hum an food chain, whereas this practise is banned under current EU legislation.) Clearly, this deal is definitely not in the interests of the vast majority of citizens. On the contrary, I believe it is a distinct threat. I am one of 2 million people in the UK who have signed the petition to scrap the TTIP deal. (Google it.) Our MEPs are set to vote on this deal on June 10. As the public’s representatives, our MEPs have a one-time opportunity here to really stick up for us all by voting against the TTIP deal. We are all depending on them to ensure that the outcome of this vote is in OUR favour, and not in the interests of satisfying global corporate greed.

Please, MEPs, do the right thing by us.

I am, etc.

Ian Walker Galashiels