Protest against trade treaty impact on NHS

SBBN TTIP protest Duns October 2015
SBBN TTIP protest Duns October 2015

Loca SNP MP Calum Kerr gave his support to a Duns Square protest against an unfair Transatlantic trade deal last week.

On Saturday October 10, people from Coldingham, Gordon, Jedburgh, Lauder, Kelso and Duns gathered in Duns Square, shoulder to shoulder with thousands across the UK.

A quarter of a million more people were marching in Berlin in a Europe wide protest, all against the same thing - TTIP or the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership.

“This largely secret so called trade deal,” said 38 degrees campaigner Kate Duncan, “will give huge powers to big corporations and bring our hard won high levels of food safety, environmental and working standards down to dangerously low American levels.

“It will put the NHS in serious danger of privatisation by US companies and almost beyond belief, it will give them the power to sue our democratically elected government in secret courts, if British laws dent their profits.”

Over several months, local campaigners, known variously as the Eyemouth Three or the Berwickshire Granarchists, and friends, have collected 539 signatures in Duns Square from people concerned about TTIP. All over the country similar groups of concerned citizens presented their MPs with the petition and urged them to vote against TTIP in Parliament.

MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, Calum Kerr, was unable to accept the petition in person due to prior engagements but he sent a message of support, saying: “The proposed TTIP deal gives me some serious worries and I fully support those who are highlighting these concerns...

“We simply must not sign up to any deal which threatens our interests or the future of our quality standards or public benefits.”

In the UK, 502,259 people signed the petition and across Europe the total was a staggering 3,279,498.

The treaty has been delayed many times due to public pressure but is due to be ratified by the end of 2016.

Kate Duncan added: “Anyone who hasn’t heard of TTIP and wants to know more, can have a look at 38degrees.org.uk/ttip where they can also sign the online version of the petition.”