Protest against trade rules

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CAMPAIGNERS will be out on the streets in an international fight against a change in trade deals.

People against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will be handing out leaflets and spreading their message urging action tomorrow near to East Boldon Metro station.

The free trade and investment treaty is being negotiated between the European Union and the USA, which could see regulatory barriers which restrict the potential profits to be made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.

But campaigners say such barriers often mean standards and environmental regulations, such as labour rights, food safety rules, such as GM goods, use of toxic chemicals, digital privacy laws and banking rules.

They also say it could create new markets by opening up public services and Government procurement contracts to competition from companies based abroad, which could lead to privatisation in health and education, with the threat of legal action if profits are at stake.

The volunteers who will protest are backers of the 38 Degrees group, which is fighting the proposal to introduce the agreement.

Ellen Crossley, a mum-of-three and grandmother from Boldon Colliery, will be among those involved in tomorrow’s event in East Boldon.

She said: “I think it’s frightening, it’s started to become a secret society.

“Basically, our rights are being eroded and we know nothing about it and once they are eroded, it’s very difficult to get them back.

“It’s going to make an impact on the NHS, education, Government, on our wages and the unions.

“It’s those on the lowest wage scales who will be the hardest hit.”

Tomorrow’s action will run from 11am until around 1pm.

Other protests are being held in Newcastle, as well as across Europe.