Thousands of people across the UK are set to protest this weekend against the “corporate stitch-up” Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the European Union.
The “day of action” will see hundreds of small protests held all over the country. They are being organised by left-wing campaign group 38 Degrees. So far, almost 2.5 million people have signed their Europe-wide petition against the underhand deal.
As UKIP leader Nigel Farage wrote in his Breitbart London column in June:
“For years I’ve wondered: just how can the Left support all of this corporatist stuff? Why are trades unions and the TUC saying nothing?
“Well actually, full congratulations to campaigning group 38 Degrees, who have really highlighted the fact that TTIP is potentially very significant.”
Demonstrations will be held at dozens of locations in London today, at eight sites around Manchester, in Bristol, Lincoln in Lincolnshire, Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex, Morpeth in Northumberland and in many other towns.
Farage explained in his column why TTIP is so objectionable:
“I’ve always been in favour of free trade, free markets and a form of competitive capitalism. But I find myself deeply alarmed by TTIP. As John Redwood has quite rightly pointed out, over half our trade with America is tariff-free already.
“If the EU were serious about tariff reduction, why not just abolish car tariffs and we’d be there?
“… Whilst TTIP may masquerade as being about free trade, actually it’s not. It’s about harmonisation, standardisation and a market place in which the giant corporates can dominate.”
The last 38 Degrees “day of action” against TTIP was in October 2014, when protests were held in 575 locations across the UK.
Demonstrations were also held across Europe in April including 2,000 taking to the streets in Brussels, 1,000 in Madrid and Helsinki and about 300 in Warsaw and Prague.
At that time, a YouGov poll found that 43 per cent of Germans believe TTIP would be bad for their country, compared to 26 per cent who viewed it as positive.