ON SATURDAY a committed group of York citizens met in the city centre to distribute leaflets and encourage passers-by to sign a petition to fix or ditch the controversial Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Despite its innocuous name, this trade deal threatens the very existence of our public services. What’s more, it’s being negotiated behind closed doors.

The main objective of those leafleting, therefore, was to raise awareness of the negotiations. The action was held in 610 locations and involved more than 9,000 ordinary people, united in a common cause. Such actions have an honourable history, without which important rights we hold dear could not have been won.

The petition calls on Vince Cable, our Business Secretary, to fix or scrap the TTIP. In particular, he is asked to push for the investor-to-state mechanism to be removed and for public services, including the NHS, to be exempted from the deal.

It’s impossible to convey in this letter the complexity of the TTIP so I urge readers to find out more. There’s lots of information on the 38 Degrees website.

Almost 150,000 people have signed the petition. More signatures mean more pressure on the negotiators to stand up for the common good.

Ginnie Shaw, Derwent Mews, Osbaldwick, York.