17:07 GMT30 September 2020
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    A vote on the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has been delayed at the last minute in the European Parliament due to divisions within the two major party groups, forcing the president of the assembly, Martin Schulz, to postpone it.

    The reasons for the last minute delay were allegedly the many amendments to the proposal that meant MEPs needed more time to consider the deal, which opponents say will only benefit big corporations rather than citizens.

    Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now has says the delay shows just how controversial and toxic the TTIP deal is.

    "The TTIP vote being postponed as a result of the large number of amendments reflects just how controversial and contested this toxic trade deal has become.

    "MEPs know that the people of Europe do not want the introduction of secret corporate courts and do want to protect vital public services as well as environmental and labor restrictions."

    According to a tweet by the European Parliament's press office, the TTIP vote "has been postponed due to many amendments and requests for split or separate votes (according to Rule 175)."

    Meanwhile, the campaign group Stop TTIP has reached a record number of signatures with two million signing up to stop the deal. According to Global Justice Now, "this is the largest European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) since the introduction of the instrument in 2012, even though the EU Commission has tried to block it."

    Speaking ahead of the vote, senior figures in the European Parliament warned that they would block a secretive trade pact unless the deal guarantees states' rights to regulate over climate, health and social laws.

    The warning comes after WikiLeaks published secret documents detailing negotiations on the global Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), involving the US, the EU and 23 other countries. All the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are absent from the negotiations.

    Related:

    Dutch Watchdogs Launch Twitter Campaign Against EU-US Free Trade Deal
    Calls for 'TTIP Light' Amid Charges of Secrecy and Lack of Trust
    Over 2Mln Europeans Sign Petition Against TTIP
    Tags:
    corporations, campaign, investment, trade, Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), European Parliament, European Union, United States, Europe
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