If an EU-US trade deal goes ahead, the UK will lose sovereignty over the NHS.
As an already-privatised service, the NHS is included in the economic interests that the proposed trade deal would cover.
This is one big reason why everyone needs to demand that their MP votes for the cross-party NHS (Reinstatement) Bill at its second reading in the House of Commons on 11 March.
By returning the NHS to full public ownership, management and democratic accountability, this Bill if passed into law would restore the NHS as a non-economic service of general interest. This would place it outside the purview of EU competition law and mean TTIP couldn’t touch it.
The EU-US trade deal is called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), aka the Big Bad Law. TTIP is not about trade, but about trading away democracy.
TTIP is being negotiated behind closed doors between the EU and the United States. It threatens to make the sell-off of the NHS irreversible because TTIP will give US multinationals, or any firm with American investors, new rights to sue the UK government if it ever tried to take privatised health services back into public hands.
New legal advice from one of Britain’s top EU lawyers, Michael Bowsher QC, a former chair of the Bar Council’s EU law committee, warns that TTIP poses a real and serious risk to the NHS. You can see the advice here. Or read a summary here.
He prepared the legal advice for the Unite trade union.
The government has its own secret legal advice on the impact of this EU deal on the NHS but they won’t make it public. Even your MP can’t see the Government’s legal advice on the future of the NHS.
But the legal advice from Michael Bowsher QC makes it clear that even the threat raised by these new rights and the billions of pounds at stake could paralyse any attempts to take services back into public ownership once the trade deal is signed. In other words our government would lose significant powers to make decisions about the future of our health service.
This is a big reason to fully renationalise the NHS now – as the cross-party NHS Reinstatement Bill would do. This has its second reading in the House of Commons on 11 March. Please contact your MP NOW and ask them to vote for the Bill on 11 March.
If we don’t act now, our Prime Minister will let Brussels bureaucrats hand over the keys to our hospitals, GP surgeries and clinics to Wall Street, United Health and other US health companies.
This is only one of the horrendous potential impacts of TTIP.
It will be equally bad for all sectors of the economy, all public services and for workers’ rights and the ability to protect their terms and conditions of employment, eg living wage.
This is why we all need to tell our MPs and MEPs to STOP TTIP ALTOGETHER