European Union

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated – in secret – between the European Union and the USA. As officials from both sides acknowledge, the main goal of TTIP is to remove regulatory ‘barriers’ which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Recorded 2014 in Glasgow.

1 Outside the EU, Britain would be isolated and lose its influence.

Most of the world is outside the EU, including six of the world’s 10 biggest economies. Britain, the fifth biggest, would make that seven.

The BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) account for 31% of world output and more than half of global economic growth. The EU share of global GDP has fallen continuously from 28% in 1990 to 17% in 2015. [1]    Less than half (48%) of Britain’s external trade is with the EU — even less (46%) if non-EU trade routed through Rotterdam is excluded. [2]

Britain would retain its membership of the UN Security Council, the OECD, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and many other international bodies, and regain its own independent seat at the World Trade Organisation.

Britain would be free to negotiate its own foreign, trade and defence policies in partnership with other countries across the world.

2. The EU is a vital source of employment, including three million jobs that depend on exports to Europe as our largest market.

All the EU structural funds spent in Britain (£4.6bn forecast for 2016) are dwarved by our annual net contribution to the EU budget (£15.2bn in 2016). [3] In other words, Britain outside the EU could spend four times more on these agricultural, social and regional programmes by redeploying this net contribution.

Just under half the stock (48%) of foreign direct investment in Britain is from the EU, unchanged for a decade or more. But while the flow of new investment from the EU has shrunk to 19% (latest 2014), the inflow remains constant from US companies (around 55%) and continues to grow from the Far East (22%). [4]

The share of Britain’s exports going to EU states has dropped steadily from over half (55%) in 2007 to less than half (44%) in 2015. [5] More jobs in Britain now depend on exports to the rest of the world. Britain’s trade deficit with the EU has trebled, while that with the rest of the world has been cut by two- thirds.   Britain’s non-EU exports are growing by 5% a year — while exports to the EU decline. By far the biggest growth markets are China, Switzerland and the Middle East. We don’t need to become part of the USA or China to have trading and other relations with them — why should the EU be different?

EU treaties and laws prohibit member state governments from taking measures to save or create jobs which ‘distort’ competition and the free movement of capital, labour and commodities. This includes subsidies, import or capital controls, public procurement contracts favouring local workers or firms etc. Such restrictions have helped destroy millions of jobs in Britain in steel, coal, manufacturing and agriculture since joining the European Economic Community in 1973.

Outside the EU, Britain could negotiate mutually beneficial agreements with other countries instead of secretive EU pacts that benefit big business, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP) with the USA.

"The Greek crisis is a crisis of monopoly Capitalism"

Comrade Ioli Gkouma representing the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) addressed Scottish communists in a public meeting held in the Party offices in Glasgow, Monday, 4 May 2015.

In it she detailed the Greek situation under EU Capitalist austerity, the analysis of the KKE & why SYRIZA (the current governing Party) was offering false slogans & solutions.

Chaired by Prof John Foster, International Secretary of the British Communist Party.

1. It’s a big business club.

The EU and its forerunners (the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community) were designed to rebuild the big capitalist corporations in Western Europe after World War Two, within a single market without barriers to trade and takeovers, behind a tariff wall against imports.

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) maintains the commitment to an internal market in which there is the ‘free movement of goods, persons, services and capital’ (Article 26) — the cornerstone of the original Treaty of Rome (1957) establishing the EEC. The aim is to enable business corporations to move capital and labour around Europe in their efforts to maximise profit.

The TFEU also declares that ‘all restrictions on the movement of capital between Member States and between Member States and third countries shall be prohibited’ (Article 63). The EU leads the drive in the WTO and through trade and investment agreements to open up countries, their markets, natural resources and public sectors to penetration by European monopoly capital.

EU directives have promoted the fragmentation, ‘marketisation’ and ‘liberalisation’ of nationalised utilities and public services, preparing the ground for privatisation of electricity, the railways and postal services. EU-funded bailouts have demanded sweeping privatisations as a condition of ‘bail out’ loans to member states in debt to German, French and British banks.

Corporate interests lobby the EU Commission and EU Parliament on an enormous scale. Big business corporations use their close links with EU Commissioners to shape EU policy on a wide range of issues, not least through the European Round Table of Industrialists and the European Financial Services Round Table.

2. It’s anti-working class

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