Who's heard of it? Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
Anyone? A couple of people here and there. No great surprise. Its not exactly been in the news, and that's the way government like it to be - just snuck in under the radar.
What is it? Essentially it is a trade agreement being negotiated between the US and the EU, whereby trade barriers are removed inorder to make buying and selling between the nations, more efficient. On the surface that sounds fine and fair enough, trade is good in our global market. But this agreement is one helluva iceberg!
First of all, negotiations have commenced without due consultation. The general public are, for the most part, completely in the dark about this.
Second of all, and to my mind, the most important part of this whole affair, is the agreement that is being underwritten into the Partnership called the 'Investor State Dispute Settlement'. This by all intents and purposes means that should a company tender for a contract (be it for the NHS or renewable energy for example) and be unsuccessful with said tender, they can effectively SUE the government of that country, for loss of future profit! Thus rendering any government useless to protect the interest of home industries.
This may seem all scaremongery, a little BT tactic from my part, but make no mistake, this is far from scaremongery. It is a potential nightmare! It is already happening in Germany between a US energy company and Germany's decision against nuclear power, and in Australia (with the TPP agreement, Trans Pacific Partnership) with Philip Morris (tobacco company) when Australia tried to implement the plain packaging on cigs.
So how does this effect me in my reasoning for voting YES?
For a kick off, the NHS has NOT been protected from this agreement. It has been left wide open to US corporations coming in and taking over our health service. Scotland's NHS is fully devolved, surely we are in charge of our own NHS therefore TTIP is a non-issue where that is concerned, right? Wrong! Once it has been signed off, by the UK government, there is nothing to stop the US investors coming in and tendering their services. Now while we have the Barnett Formula and we choose to spend our Westminster pocket money/block grant on protecting our NHS; in the event of a NO vote (as I have already dedicated a full post to) when our grant is recalculated and reduced, realistically, within 10years we wont have an NHS as we know it in Scotland (within 5 years in rUK), we may have to privatise and are then at the mercy of this TTIP agreement. NO THANK YOU!
There is a 38degrees petition to Vince Cable (Secretary of State for Business) to remove the NHS from this agreement AND to remove the Investor State Dispute Settlement from the agreement. Please have a look and sign it here : https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/vince-cable-fix-ttip#petition
So I'm saying YES to independence, No to privatisation and US corporations running my NHS for profit.
Feel free to look into this further. Some suggested sources below are :