DUNDEE will host the first in a series of UK-wide talks on "the dangers of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)" later this week, as experts from all over the world gather to begin the drive against the trade deal.

The seven-date tour is one of the first major public awareness campaigns against TTIP to take place in the UK. The meeting on Sunday is the only event scheduled in Scotland, where the potential impact of the deal was regularly highlighted at rallies during the referendum campaign.

Trade experts have said the deal, which has been negotiated largely behind closed doors, would be a "disaster for democracy", giving large organisations the right to sue governments for introducing laws that could harm their profits.

As well as posing a threat to the NHS, TTIP will open up the market between the EU and the US, which may cause jobs to be lost to the North American country, where labour standards are lower and trade union rights fewer.

However, the European Commission, which is heading the talks, say the deal could bring billions of euros into the EU economy, with David Cameron also fully behind proposals, describing the negotiations as a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity.

The 11th round of negotiations between the European body and the US – focusing on market access and public procurement – finished on Friday, when the EC said they were "one step closer to agreeing a balanced and comprehensive deal".

Speaking after the meetings, Dan Mullaney from the US Trade Representative said TTIP presented an opportunity to "build on seven decades of US-EU partnership and make it stronger, with trade easier and more efficient".

Although European and US leaders seem keen to push the changes through, opposition on the streets has been growing, with hundreds gathering in London to protest the trade deal earlier this month.

Maude Barlow, chairwoman of the Council of Canadians who will be talking on the tour, has drawn parallels between the TTIP agreement and the Canadian deals signed with the US and Mexico more than 20 years ago.

She said she signed up to the tour to show people in the UK that they need to be concerned about the deal, as it sets "really dangerous limits on the rights of governments".

Barlow said: “In Canada, we’ve already had a lot of experience of corporations being able to sue our government for introducing laws that might protect the environment or workers’ rights.

“It’s been a disaster for democracy and has cost the taxpayer billions. I’m in the UK to warn people what has happened in Canada, and to show that it’s not too late to prevent this disaster from happening."

Nick Dearden, the director of Global Justice Now, who co-ordinated the tour, said: “Halting destructive mines, re-nationalising railways, regulating banks, cleaning up our environment, using plain packing for cigarettes – all examples of the kinds of decisions which could mean our government shelling out millions of pounds to big business.

“There is no question about it: the British government will be sued by foreign corporations if this deal is ratified. Everything that we know about this secretive trade deals shows that it is very little about trade and very much about enshrining a massive corporate power grab."

The meeting will be held in Dundee’s Dalhousie Building at 3pm on Sunday November 1, before the organisers travel to Manchester, Leeds, London, Oxford, Cardiff and Dublin.

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