MP calls for TTIP rejection

Call for rethink following lawsuit against American government.

Roger Godsiff MP, who represents the Birmingham Hall Green constituency, has asked the government whether they will reconsider their support for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade deal following the announcement that a tar sands company is suing the American Government under existing trade law after Obama decided against a massive new tar sands pipeline.

Obama decided against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline due to the serious environmental concerns raised by tar sands oil. However, his right to act on behalf of the citizens he was elected to represent and in order to prevent catastrophic environmental destruction is being challenged by TransCanada, the company pushing the pipeline, which is attempting to sue the US Government for $15 billion. If successful, this sum will be paid by American taxpayers, who have been given no choice about whether they want their taxes to fund the most dangerous and dirty form of fossil fuels.

Roger has tabled a Written Parliamentary Question to ask the Prime Minister whether the UK Government have considered whether TTIP would make the UK more vulnerable to similar lawsuits. He also asked whether the Government will insist that TTIP does not contain provisions which would allow such lawsuits to be brought in the UK, and whether the Government are reconsidering their support for TTIP in light of this lawsuit.

Said Roger: “This appalling lawsuit shows exactly why the UK must stay out of trade deals which prioritise the rights of greedy multinationals to make a profit over the rights of citizens to breathe clean air and make their own decisions about how their country is run. The UK Government must be accountable to the citizens they were elected to serve, not to unfair trade law which puts profits before people.

“Governments are perfectly right to pass legislation which protects the environment and supports clean energy, and we urgently need more support for renewables. It is outrageous for companies to be able to sue the taxpayer for lost profits from projects that were too dangerous and polluting to go ahead.

“I hope that the Prime Minister will reconsider his support for TTIP in the light of this lawsuit. TTIP could leave UK taxpayers liable to being sued for billions by fracking companies. There is no support for fracking in the UK, and I do not see why the UK citizens should be forced to pay out to fracking companies.”