Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the NHS
TTIP will 'carve open' the NHS
This article is copied with thanks from our sister Islington KONP newsletter. Click here for link to the Islington website article.
It's puzzling why a 'democratic society' would willingly give so much power to Trans National Corporations (TNCs). It is evidence of how far the corporate capture of the state has gone that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partership (TTIP) could be contemplated.
Anyway in an article in 'the Independent' shadow health minister Andy Burnham has given publicity to the campaign, saying that the NHS will be 'carved open by the end of this year' if there is not an opt out for the NHS.
In a typical non response the DoH stated "We strongly believe these fears are misplaced. We are clear that these negotiations will not affect the ability of the NHS to deliver a world-class service....there will be no change in access to the NHS for private providers. " In other words 'be afraid...'
However, you still need to be wary about Labour Party intentions according to Linda Kaucher a leading campaigner and researcher on the TTIP. In an article on the website 'Investigating the New Imperialism', she points out that one of Labour's campaigners for an opt out from the TTIP is John Healy. He chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group promoting TTIP! He has also been less than open about the dangers the TTIP poses.
"Is top level Labour completely behind what is a corporate bill of rights being presented as a ‘trade’ agreement, while tangentially pretending to support an NHS carve-out position?" Ms Kaucher asks.
Incidentally, the article mentions that the EU Trade Commission, who are negotiating the agreement, commissioned a report that found that the TTIP would add an extra 0.5% increase in GDP after 10 years.
38 Degrees is running a petition on the TTIP. Your support would be appreciated here
Andy Burnham in the Independent here
Linda Kaucher's article here
Previous mentions of TTIP in Islington newsletter: KONP on TTIP and Tories: No Exemption for NHS in EU-US Trade Agreement
For information about responding to EU consultation on the TTIP Investor-to State Dispute Settlement click here.
KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC (KONP) POSITION PAPER ON THE
TRANSATLANTIC TRADE AND INVESTMENT PARTERSHIP (TTIP)
KONP has serious concerns about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its potential to destroy the NHS through extending recent governments’ policies of privatisation and marketisation.
TTIP is the latest, and most far reaching, challenge facing the NHS. This EU-US Trade Treaty is designed to promote further market liberalisation – and will include access to health and social care service contracts by transnational conglomerates.
These essentially confidential negotiations are taking place between the European Commission, on behalf of the 28 EU Member States, and the US Administration. These negotiations, strongly supported by the current British government, are aimed at securing a new trade and investment treaty, between the EU and the USA.
It is suggested (on scant evidence) that there will be substantial trade, income, and jobs benefits for the UK, arising from the TTIP. This may be so for some industrial and commercial sectors. However, there will be damaging effects on health and social care provision in the UK. Regulatory harmonisation is likely to undermine conditions for health workers and standards of public health. The current UK movement towards extensive marketisation, privatisation, and fragmentation of health and social care services will be accelerated. Thus KONP demands that health and social care services should be broadly exempted from the TTIP in order to maintain the freedom of future UK governments to choose to maintain these services as public provision based on the principles of solidarity and universality, and not as marketable services.
- Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) is seriously concerned that the EU-US negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will lead to a permanent legal entrenchment of the provision of health and care services on a market basis, across the EU Member States, including the UK.
- Additionally, the envisaged TTIP Treaty will mean that any future UK government wishing to reverse the marketisation of the NHS (extended by the Health and Social Care Act, 2012) will be prevented from doing so by the inclusion of the NHS in the Treaty and by its Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).
- Moreover, the ISDS procedure and other indirect aspects of TTIP (e.g. investor protection and the remit of the Regulatory Co-operation Council) will adversely affect the ability of the UK and other EU Member States to set standards and to regulate health and social services and associated services and products, without fear of being sued for compensation for loss of future profits by private companies using commercial law.
- KONP is concerned that harmonisation of regulations will undermine labour rights and, for example, entrench low pay and zero hours contracts. In addition, the envisaged TTIP Treaty may adversely affect medical and professional training and qualifications.
TTIP: KONP Demands
- To ensure the ability of future UK governments to regulate, contain costs, enhance co-operation within the NHS and return it to public provision, KONP calls for health and social services to be broadly exempted from the TTIP Treaty.
- KONP also calls for the ISDS to be removed from the TTIP Treaty.
- EU labour and medical and professional training and qualifications standards must be specifically protected under the TTIP Treaty.
- KONP calls on the UK Government, the European Commission, and the European Parliament to reject any Treaty which does not conform to these demands.