Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood's economy committee, is urging the First Minister to oppose TTIP, the controversial EU-US trade deal.

Writing on behalf of the 5-strong Green-Independent group of MSPs, Ms Johnstone calls on Alex Salmond to press the case against a power grab by big business that undermines democratic decision-making.

The full text of the letter can be seen here. It is supported by Alison's Green colleague Patrick Harvie, along with independent MSPs John Finnie, Jean Urquhart and John Wilson.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

"TTIP is a power grab by private corporations which threatens the NHS. Although Scottish ministers have said they oppose the inclusion of health services in TTIP the negotiations have not yet provided any clear protections, and I urge the First Minister to press the case.

"There's huge public concern at the offshore corporate courts being proposed. These would enable corporations to sue governments for passing laws which may be in the public interest but affect a company’s profits, an outrageous suggestion.

"We could also see watering down of European protections from the likes of GM foods and beef produced with growth hormones, an issue causing real concern for Scotland's farmers.

"I hope the Scottish Government will write again to the UK Government stating opposition to TTIP. There is mounting public concern that cannot be ignored."