As if it isn’t bad enough that we’re losing control of our justice system, our economy and our borders through closer assimilation with the EU, our national sovereignty is now being further jeopardised by the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Industry Partnership (TTIP), a “free-trade” agreement with the United States being negotiated behind closed doors by the EU.
We have already witnessed a gradual, insidious corruption of western democratic government, whereby policies are influenced less and less by the desire to serve the people and prompted more and more by the narrow interests of corporate lobbyists holding the purse strings for campaign funds. Now, multinational corporations will be able to exert even more power over sovereign governments. One of the provisions of the TTIP would be to render a sovereign government liable for damages if any change of policy were to threaten the investment of a private company.
Businesses would be empowered to bypass the normal courts and sue governments directly over anything that caused them financial damage. If, for example, the government were to introduce measures to stop smoking, tobacco companies would be able to sue for lost revenue and the dispute would be settled by lawyers and corporate cronies in secret meetings.
Are we getting closer to the day when democracy dies and every aspect of our lives is controlled by neo-imperialist trading juggernauts? Some multinational corporations are worth more than the entire GDP of the countries where they do business, and governments are losing the ability to control them. Our national sovereignty is under attack not only from the overt supranational ambitions of organisations like the EU, but also from the covert activities of the uncontrollable and unaccountable multinationals. Destroying borders may not be the act of liberation it’s made out to be.