I have received literally thousands of emails and letters from members of the public about TTIP. Without a single exception, they have raised concerns about this proposed trade deal between the European Union and the USA.
I share most of these concerns. I am concerned about the potential threat to our NHS, to other public services, that our government could be overruled in lawsuits from private investors, and a small businesses may not get a level playing field.
I support the principle of free trade but what is on the table is not really a free trade agreement; it is a corporatist trade agreement.
After much consideration I have therefore come to the conclusion that I must vote ‘NO’ to TTIP in the European Parliament on Wednesday.
My constituents can be assured that I will, however, be supporting amendments tabled by UKIP and others (including Amendment 27) to mitigate the worst aspects of TTIP, should it eventually come into force.