Only 5% of Fingal residents voted in favour of Ireland ratifying TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership treaty) in Fuller Democracy 2016.

Happily, this result was in line with my long-held personal views on the issue of international trade.

I published several articles arguing against TTIP at the time.

Trade is important, but too many major trade treaties are lopsided – granting sweeping rights to corporations to sue the nations party to a treaty without anything much being given in return. These treaties are usually negotiated in secret – indeed, MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan had a moment of Europe-wide fame when he released a video detailing the difficulties that he had even accessing the document.

However, there will always be a new TTIP (take CETA, for example, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU). As part of my policy on digital democracy, I believe that treaties should be negotiated in a more transparent manner with input from the peoples of the nations involved in the future. This would go a long way to mitigating the influence that corporate lobbyists have over treaty negotiations.

If you would like to read a more in-depth account of how treaty negotiations are conducted and how big businesses influence them, I went into some detail in Chapters 5 and 6 of my latest book here and a paper I wrote on corporate influence of EU legislation here.