Campaigners waved banners and delivered a strong message against a controversial trade deal to Conservatives in Chichester.
Members of 38 degrees gathered outside the Conservative offices in St John’s Street on Thursday wearing masks and holding signs in opposition of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
They delivered more than 700 petitions from the Chichester area as part of more than 3 million gathered from all across Europe, and expressed ‘disappointment’ that Chichester’s Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie was not there to received it personally.
Michael Vaughan, representing 38 degrees, said: “The Principle of Investor-State Dispute Settlement, which is part of TTIP, seeks to overrule individual nations’ right to protect their citizens’ health and welfare as they see fit.
“This is a modern day gunpowder plot, and something we should not even be talking about, let alone be thinking of putting on the statute book.
“In view of the seriousness of this threat to our democracy, I am most disappointed that Andrew Tyrie did not think it worth making any sort of public gesture to show support, let alone actually turning up this morning.”
TTIP is a series of trade negotiations between the EU and America and those against it feel it discussions have been kept out of the public eye.
The deals are about reducing the legislation to trade for big business, things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations.
Rosemary Marshall, a member of 38 degrees and Compassion World Farming, said: “If these trade deals go through we will lose the vast majority of our standards when it comes to animal welfare, things we have worked so hard for across Europe.
“America is way behind us in terms of standards for animals and agriculture and if this goes through their produce would be freely available in our shops without legislation.
“It’s such a backwards step and just disgusting.”
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