Local MEP Jonathan Arnott has reacted angrily to the European Parliament’s go-ahead for the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
“I am angry that this was passed today in Strasbourg and I know the thousands of people in the North East who contacted me opposing it will also be furious,” he said.
The vote with 436 votes in favour and 241 votes opposed gave approval for the European Commission to press ahead with continued negotiations over TTIP.
“This is a blow for all those interested in protection of the NHS, in consumer rights and a legal system fair to small businesses,” said Mr Arnott.
“This is a very damaging vote by MEPs which will hurt free trade and the financial well-being of patients, consumers and workers.
“The EU should not manipulate the UK’s trade nor that of any other member state in order to promote the political pretentions of this power grabbing monolith.
“UKIP put forward amendments which required the commission ‘to exclude specifically our British National Health Service from TTIP in its entirety’ but unfortunately it was defeated.
An amendment was put forward by the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group, to which UKIP belongs, to prevent the creation of ISDS, a private corporate-led arbitration court which would allow multinationals to sue states if their profits were challenged.
“But members were not even allowed to vote on this and instead a Socialist Group amendment was passed. This still allows corporate investors to sue states outside normal courts for making democratic decisions. It makes no major difference to the ISDS mechanism at all. I am confident people will not be fooled by it.
“The only way that citizens can defeat TTIP now is to vote to leave the European Union. UKIP is the only major party opposed to TTIP and we will continue fighting it, but while members of the EU, it is virtually impossible to prevent such EU legislation being forced upon us against our will,” said Mr Arnott.