TTIP: 9 Risks Clegg And Farage Won't Tell You About The US-EU Trade Deal

02/04/2014 10:19 | Updated 02 April 2014

Nick Clegg is set to duke it out with Nigel Farage this evening over the EU's pros and cons, with the pair likely to overlook one unglamorous but major subject - the TTIP trade deal.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is being thrashed out between EU and US officials, promises to amount to an extra £98 billion a year to the EU and £78 billion a year to the US.

The deal is being celebrated all around by the Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and Ukip for its potential job creation and gains.

However, the trade deal has nine potentially serious issues that Farage and Clegg will be studiously avoiding tonight.

  • The UK could be sued for risking company profits
    Thanks to the proposed deal's "Investor State Dispute Settlement", companies will be able to sue governments whose regulations put future profits at risk. So fracking firms could take the government to court banning risky drilling, or private healthcare providers suing a government which protects the NHS.
  • The UK could be forced to adopt other countries' rules
    In order to trade under the TTIP, the UK could be forced to accept rules from other countries - which doesn't bode well for people complaining about the UK having too many laws from Brussels.
  • Your wages will suffer
    Unions are concerned that the weakened regulations will allow bosses to reduce wages and labour rights will suffer.
  • Our food regulations could be watered down
    So far so bureaucratic, but what could this mean? Thanks to the equalization of rules between the US and EU as part of the deal, the UK could be forced to relax regulations which could see the return of banned food products in Europe like chicken bleached with chlorine and growth hormones in beef.
  • Our environmental standards could be undermined
    In order to match US standards, UK could be forced to reverse its ban on asbestos - which has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma.
  • Your data could be at risk
    US citizens do not have the same level of protection for their private data as EU citizens, so e-commerce provisions under the deal could see the safety of your private data put at risk.
  • Experts say the deal's benefits are "vastly overblown"
    “An impartial reading of these key documents relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership shows quite clearly that these huge figures are vastly overblown and deeply flawed,” said political scientist Dr Siles-Brügge of Manchester University.
  • We're in the dark about much of the deal
    Parts of the deal will only be unveiled once they're finally agreed by European Commission and US officials.
  • And you can do little to stop it
    The deal is being thrashed out in secret by few people you've actually elected. Green Party MEP Keith Taylor tells HuffPostUK: "Even my colleagues who sit on the European Parliament's Trade Committee don't get a proper look at the negotiating document, and most MEPs don't get any say on the deal until we're presented it as a fait accompli.
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