Letter: Let’s hope we stay out of trade deal

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Some readers may have thought that Lynette Hall was being unduly melodramatic when she suggested that a trade deal between the EU and the US could threaten British sovereignty.

She was referring to the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership, a sort of transatlantic free trade area.

The TTIP draft has been discussed in various EU institutions for the past two years. Significantly, the European commission has held eight open meetings with civil society groups and 119 closed meetings with big business corporations; this typifies their idea of “transparency”. It is frightening to think that, under TTIP proposals, in the event of any trade dispute and “off-shore arbitration panel” comprising several corporate lawyers would “interpret the signatory states’ legislation”, effectively overriding our laws and making the UK parliament redundant.

In recent decades UK politicians, with one noteable exception, have been pathetically weak at negotiating attractive deals for Britain on EU matters. The Common Agricultural Policy takes money from efficient farming enterprises to subsidise grossly inefficient operations. The Fisheries agreement decimated the UK fishing industry. We pay over £900million per year to cover the health costs of Britons who fall ill in Europe, but get less than £50million back from sick European visitors to the UK. And dare I mention the iniquitous decisions which have emanated from Stasboiurg on “human rights” issues? At least, thank goodness, we stayed out of the Eurozone; lets hope we stay out of the TTIP if Brussels apparatchiks are involved in it.

Brian Bruce

Bourne Road,