ACTIVISTS demonstrated in London against Ceta, the “toxic” trade deal between the European Union and Canada.
They staged a protest on Tuesday night outside the London offices of Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining company.
The firm is using an existing trade deal to sue Romania for refusing to grant a permit for a huge gold mine in a world heritage site and demanding £3.5 billion compensation.
Activists from Global Justice Now campaign group displayed banners bearing the words “democracy,” “environment” and “justice” which they obliterated with gold paint.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement will establish new corporate courts through which companies can sue governments that pass laws detrimental to companies’ ability to make profits, such as minimum wages and health and safety laws.
Campaigners argue that the deal could see 40,000 US companies operating from Canada exploiting the deal in the same way as Gabriel Resources.
In EU countries 3.5 million people have signed a petition opposing the deal, which has been signed — but not yet ratified by the European parliament.
Global Justice Now trade campaigner Jean Blaycock said: “At the heart of this toxic trade deal lies a whole legal system that would give thousands of corporations the option to sue governments for making decisions that might hurt their profits.”
She said Gabriel Resources was using a trade deal between Britain and Romania to sue Romania.
“We now have two months to convince MEPs that this trade deal amounts to a massive corporate power grab at the expense of ordinary people across Europe and it must be stopped,” she said.
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