TTIP “a threat” to democracy, says Russell
Education Secretary says trade agreement will damage engagement
A controversial EU-US trade deal represents a threat to the future of Scottish education, and to democracy, Education Secretary Michael Russell has said.
Speaking at Holyrood’s Universities 2014 conference, Russell said the Government had “very severe reservations about the implications” of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks, which have been carried in secret but are thought to give businesses the power to sue governments.
“In Scotland we’ve just gone through a process where we have recognised and seen the vast value and energy of democratic commitment, where people are engaged in the process of making decisions about their own lives. I think everybody in Scotland wants to extend and expand that not narrow it,” said Russell.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron promised at the weekend to "fire rocket boosters" under TTIP to pass it quickly, but several governments have started to express concerns, with France indicating it will not sign.
After Nicola Sturgeon was elected First Minster in parliament today Scottish Greens co-convener Partick Harvie said: "Growing public awareness of the deeply undemocratic corporate power grab known as TTIP should also galvanise the new First Minister into action. Scotland may not have a formal role in the negotiations but Nicola Sturgeon should add her voice to the concerns raised recently by the French government. Scotland's economic opportunity comes from growing our SMEs and raising wages, not rolling over for big business."
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