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Fracking and Trade Law: What the media won’t talk about

December 19, 2013

The government claims there will be adequate regulation to prevent the harmful effects of fracking. Even if they are sincere about this, and even if it were technically possible to make fracking ‘safe’, it is likely that in 2015 any such regulation will be swept aside by a new trade treaty. I have explained this in a letter to the Dorset Echo, which surprise surprise has not been published. In this the Echo is merely copying the attitude of the bulk of national media including, regrettably, the BBC. My letter reads:

“Who will really be ruling us in 2015?

Most people realise that many of our laws are now made in order to conform to decisions made in Europe, and there is a lively debate on whether we should remain in the EU. What most people probably do not realise is that if negotiations between the USA and the European Commission conclude as expected, a huge amount of power will be transferred from national governments and the EU to multi national corporations.

The deal that is being negotiated is called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP.) Negotiations are secret and that in itself is surely grounds for deep suspicion. The European Commission acknowledge that corporations will be able to sue sovereign governments if their profits are adversely affected by any regulation, and that national courts cannot interfere in such disputes. Instead tribunals made up of trade lawyers sitting in secret will make judgements that are not subject to appeal.

So if for example the UK or Europe has in place better environmental or public health regulation than the USA, these regulations would be overturned by TTIP.”

For more on this go to: , also published in the Guardian on 5 November under the title ‘This US Trade deal is a full frontal assault on Democracy’. By following up his links you will learn what I know about this.

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