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Members of the Bexhill and Hastings branch of Global Justice now campaigning against corporate courts.

Members of the Bexhill and Hastings branch of Global Justice Now campaigning against corporate courts.

Campaigning against secret corporate courts in Fox’s trade deals

Campaigners from Global Justice Now were out on the streets of Bexhill at the weekend seeking support to end trade secretary Liam Fox’s attempts to subject us to corporate courts under the notorious Investor-State Dispute Settlement system in his post Brexit trade deals. Nick Terdre reports.

The Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system first caused public outrage when details of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which the European Commission was negotiating in secrecy with the US were leaked. The revelation resulted in massive protest across Europe and petitions of protest signed by five million EU citizens.

TTIP didn’t survive the backlash, but ISDS is still alive and kicking. Despite all the hot air about taking back sovereignty from Brussels, Tory trade secretary Liam Fox is only too happy to accept corporate courts as part of the post Brexit trade deals he is busy negotiating, prompting social justice organisation Global Justice Now to launch a campaign against it.

“In these trade deals he is swapping much of our sovereignty from Brussels to the big trading corporates who have their own powerful secretive corporate courts,” said Jack Doherty of GJN’s Bexhill and Hastings branch.

Not transparent

“These are not transparent and MPs have no say in their terms (what price Brexit !?). Through these secretive courts, the corporates are claiming billions of pounds from a number of countries if their governments enact anything which affects the corporates’ profits, such as raising the minimum wage or health standards.

“Cigarette producer Philip Morris is claiming £120 million from the Australian government because their profits decreased after it introduced legislation obliging the plain packaging of cigarettes!”

Thus it was that campaigners from the Bexhill and Hastings branch of GJN were out in the streets of Bexhill last Saturday informing local people and encouraging them to sign cards to the government and Liam Fox calling for ISDS to be removed from all UK trade and investor deals on the grounds that it undermines democracy, puts governments off regulating in the public interest, obliges governments to pay billions to corporations and enforces corporate privilege.

“And it’s unnecessary!” said Mr Doherty. “It’s time NOW to stop corporates hammering democracy, using this system of Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” Some countries are but not us as yet. It would be terrible to be coughing up these millions of pounds which could be used for healthcare, education, mental health and so on.”


Full details of GJN’s campaign are available here, and you can sign the UK petition here. More information about the Bexhill and Hastings GJN branch here.

GJN protest in London.

GJN protest in London.

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Posted 09:30 Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 In: Campaigns

1 Comment

  1. Keith Piggott (Icarus)

    ISDS? I’d thought such a perverted arrangement had been disposed of with TTIP. Evidently not, a very sly fox indeed. Start a petition to parliament and you’ll have my support.

    Comment by Keith Piggott (Icarus) — Monday, Mar 25, 2019 @ 14:32

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