First Fruits of BREXIT: Toxic Trade Deal with US (pt 2)

Post-Brexit stage 1: Surrender British sovereignty to the USA in shockingly one-sided trade deal.

{This is only part 2 of my rant.  To see part 1 click here: First Fruits of BREXIT part 1 }

Are you concerned about climate change?  

Donald Trump moved quickly as president, to pack his cabinet with climate change deniers.  So, now that the US-UK trade deal is being thrashed out at full speed, behind closed doors, how might we in Britain be hampered by American climate change denial?  One risk, already seen in other deals, is a clause forbidding the discrimination between one kind of fuel and another.  If the UK government then moved away from coal, oil or gas, supporting green technology instead, we might be subject to a trade dispute with an American fossil fuel company … which leads me to the biggest threat of all: Corporate Courts.

thunderstorm coming

Corporate Courts (formerly called ISDS)

This is nightmarish and really hard to believe – but big private companies are allowed to sue nation states, if they introduce policies which might impact their profits.  It has happened: Lone Pine Resources Inc. sued Quebec for imposing a moratorium on fracking, and Veolia tried to sue Egypt for introducing a minimum wage.  The average legal costs imposed by Corporate Courts is $5 million, with some as high as $30 million – but that’s just the legal costs!  Some big corporates claim for loss of future profits, which can run into tens of billions.  In total, up to 2018 Corporate Courts have imposed $88 billion in claims and legal costs..

Lone Pine Resources Inc. logo
Veolia logo

Now lawyers and investors have been informing each other of opportunities to sue states where their corona lockdown measures have breached the terms of some trade deal.  The USA loves corporate courts because their multi-national companies are the biggest, richest and most litigious of the lot.  Britain could be sued, if, for example keeping the NHS out of private hands prevents a big USA health insurer from its intended new market; or a move towards green technology does the same for big plastic or big oil, or even if our corona lockdown measures reduce sales or bookings.  Corporate courts would completely bypass our own British judicial system, using instead the bespoke ‘justice’ framed by the trade deal.  Again – is this what we meant in the Brexit referendum when we voted to ‘take back control’?

Ways to Respond

Follow the links shown below, to learn more.  Write to your MP, local newspaper, the Prime minister, rejecting the hasty and secretive way the US-UK trade deal is being forged, and especially rejecting Corporate Courts.  Tell your friends.

References

Big oil, big plastic: https://www.edie.net/news/11/UK-US-Post-Brexit-trade-deal-fta-climate-environment-impact–/

costs: https://corporateeurope.org/en/2020/05/cashing-pandemic-how-lawyers-are-preparing-sue-states-over-covid-19-response-measures

General: https://www.monbiot.com/2020/05/29/culpable-negligence/

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