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Hundreds of leaked pages from the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) show that the deal could be about to collapse, according to campaigners.

The huge leak – which gives the first full insight into the negotiations – shows that the relationship between Europe and the US are weaker than had been thought and that major divisions remain on some of the agreement’s most central provisions.

The talks have been held almost entirely in secret, and most information that is known in public has come out from unofficial leaks. But the new pages, leaked by Greenpeace, represent the first major look at how the highly confidential talks are progressing.

The leaks could be enough to destabilise the deal completely, according to campaigners who have claimed that the agreement couldn’t survive the leaks.

“Now that we can see the actual texts, the EU negotiators have nowhere left to hide,” John Hilary, the executive director of War on Want, told The Independent. “The gloves are off, and they know they are in for a proper fight.”

They indicate that the US is looking strongly to change regulation in Europe to lessen the protections on the environment, consumer rights and other positions that the EU affords to its citizens. Representatives for each side appear to have found that they have run into “irreconcilable” differences that could undermine the signing of the landmark and highly controversial trade deal, campaigners say.

For instance, the papers show that the US is looking to weaken the EU’s “precautionary principle” that governs how potentially harmful products are sold, Greenpeace says. The US has much weaker regulation that aims to minimise rather than avoid risks, and that same less strict regime could come to the UK and Europe under the deal.

If the EU made further changes to similar regulations, it would have to inform the US and corporations based there, according to the documents. American companies would then be able to have the same input into EU regulation as European ones do.

There are also notable missing parts of the agreement. None of the texts includes any reference to the global effort to cut CO2 emissions agreed in Paris last year, according to Greenpeace, despite a commitment from the European Commission that it would make environmental sustainability a key part of any deal.

Those who support TTIP argue that it represents an important step that will allow the US and EU to work together more closely and that it will support business in both regions. But parts of the deal and the secrecy that surrounds it have led campaigners to argue that it could include dangerous changes to the consumer protections that are guaranteed by the EU.

Source: TTIP leaked documents could spell the end of controversial trade deal, say campaigners | Europe | News | The Independent

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