NHS must be exempted from TTIP

The only way to stop the US-EU trade deal (euphemistically called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP) from interfering with the freedom of an incoming Labour government to reverse NHS privatisation is by demanding that the UK government vetoes TTIP unless health services are clearly and fully exempted.   At present they are not, and the government minister Lord Livingston has confirmed that the NHS will be covered by TTIP.   As a result a US investor such as Blackrock or Invesco) profiting from NHS privatisation could use TTIP to sue the UK government if it could prove to a panel of 3 trade lawyers sitting in secret, one of which would be chosen by the investor, that its rights under TTIP had been breached.   That could occur if, in the words of the EU’s Chief Negotiator, there was a claim”for example by expropriation without compensation, a denial of justice or manifestly arbitrary treatment”.   In such cases the tribunal would be able to award unlimited compensation and there is no right of appeal.

So what is the likelihood of an NHS investor taking such action.   One can only judge in the light of what has already happened.   The Slovakian government had 30 million of its foreign assets seized by Achmea because it renationalised its health insurance system.   The German government were sued by the Swedish company Vattenfall using investor protection to demand €3.7bn in compensation for lost profits when Merkel decided to phase out nuclear energy aftedr the Fukushima nuclear disaster.   The Spanish government was hit by several investor protection cases after it changed its solar energy policy.   And the Australian government was attacked by Philip Morris to claim that its new laws on cigarette packaging were tantamount to expropriation.

It’s not as though TTIP protection is needed for NHS investors.   The EU’s negotiator has himself admitted that “Member states are already required to respect applicable domestic and EU law regarding for example the conditions for early termination of contracts”.   In that case, why is investor protection needed at all for trade involving the US and EU?

Vince Cable, Business Secretary, has sent round a letter to MPs which says: “When the EU reaches an agreement with the US in principle, the proposed text of the agreement will therefore be sent to the 28 EU national governments which must unanimously agree to the final deal.   If it does not deliver the objectives we in the EU have demanded, or it it challenges the values, standards and principles we have developed, then the European Parliament or any single European country could withhold their consent, and the agreement would fall”.   The problem for the UK is that if this TTIP trade deal is completed this year, as is intended, the Tories-LibDems still have a majority in Parliament to ram it through.




6 thoughts on “NHS must be exempted from TTIP

  1. Not just the NHS, but policing, education, social services in fact almost any part of this countries socialist traditions which has made the UK such decent place to live for most of my life.

    It will also exempt American companies from various kinds of consumer and employee protection on grounds that it’s anti competitive.

    This is less a trade agreement than an extension, (unilaterally,) of American sovereignty across most of Europe and which will, (if the existing model of South America and Caribbean is anything to judge by,) generate some limited prosperity in the US at the cost of poverty and more unemployment across the EU.

    The same amoral, unaccountable and over-mighty corporations that have completely destroyed the traditional social, economic and political fabric of the USA, (check out the current state of Detroit for an example of this or the death rate in Chicago for another,) will now be able to operate with complete impunity in Europe.

    The outcome can only be more disasters like Bhopal, Southern Cross Care Homes or Piper Alpha and with no accountability whatsoever.

    The whole bussiness is a complete nightmare on every level from start to finish.

    Few people would actaully want to live in Mexico from choice, but then choice is the very last thing we’re being offered.

  2. never have a government done so much damage to its people but if this gets signed then the british people will be in court taken there by the yanks oh ones going to say not true then look to aussie country they were taken to the courts 4times by a fag company over its having a white packet no logos whotsoever yet they did lost that one but three others cases to go for them looks like its coming here its never good to sell your silver off but signing away your rights is whot this lot will do putting all in the stocks jeff3

  3. If this treaty is signed up to, would the only option for a future genuine Labour Government who wished to remove our country from this deal be to remove ourselves from the EU? Or would the fact that the coalition has signed it also make this difficult? Surely no country or its government have the obligation to remain in any deal that is detrimental to its population who have decided that they no longer want it?

  4. @Sandra Crawford:

    Once we sign the TTIP agreement, surely we are locked into European and United States “Free Trade” and will consequently be affected by our trading partners Laws, so any Referendum in 2017 to Leave Europe would be completely meaningless – an illusion of democracy.

    The NHS has already started to be privatised by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which will allow investors to enter the NHS. TTIP will be the final nail on the coffin of the NHS as it was intended to be operated – by the people, for the people. It will now be run – by the Corporations for Profit. The Elderly, Chronically ill, long term disabled, unemployed and the poor will still have the NHS as it will become the soup kitchen version of the Health Service in Britain, and will slowly become more and more dependent on charitable donations. GPs will try and remove the Elderly from their patient lists as these people aren’t a good investment. They cost too much. GPs will be held responsible for making the cuts as Government Ministers tend to deflect responsibility for their actions to others when the changes involve cutting services. GPs will then pay more attention to the bottom line of their balance sheets than patients – who will become a frustrating irritant, causing them to miss a Financial Target.

    If a form of Privatisation or better still, paying a fee back for initial GP Visits which the Public keeps to re-invest in services is one thing, but the total dishonesty of both Labour and Conservative Governments have both tenderised the NHS for a Private Takeover.

    If people abuse the NHS, by wasting GP’s time, then adopt the Italian method – charge a nominal fee (say £5) for visits, charge it for ambulanaces (£5), all these will mount up. We are all going to be paying a fortune for health care in the future – through insurance policies that won’t insure the old and chronically ill, wiht Private Foreign Investors laughing all the way to the subsidised banking system.

  5. One aspect of Private Health Care is completely ignored by the TTIP Pushers – Profit over Patient Care.

    Doctors spend little time on diet during their training. They are trained to prescribe pharmaceuticla drugs.

    The Pharmaceutical drugs, charitable organisations and Private Nursing Homes that rely on Alzheiemr’s for income would be devastated by a non-pharmaceurtical cure. If changin the diet of an Alzheiemr’s Patient stabilised or even reveresed the condition, Private Drug Compnaies would lose money. It is therefore not in their interests to research a cure themselves, nor assist anyone else to find one , especially if it does not involve patented drugs.

    We wer eall told that High cholesterol was very bad and caused Heart Attacks and high blood pressure. Recent, and even not so recent research, has shown we need cholesterol to function. We need unrefined medium chain fatty acids to function. The brain (having only 2% of the body mass) uses 25% of the body’s cholesterol. This cholesterol is said to help power the neurons and insulate the synapsis between the neurons (like plastic insulation on an electrical cable). By lowering cholesteorl (with statin drugs) and moving away from fatty oils – like Coconut Oil – to eating refined oils with polyunsaturated fats (good fats?), avoiding whole milk and other fat lowering refined foods, has significantly changed our diet over the last fifty years – but diabetes, obescity and dementia have escalated.

    Raw Organic Coconut Oil was regarded as bad as it was said to contain mostly fat and it was suggested that this would cause high cholesteorl. what studies ignored were people in countries where Coconut Oil is used at nearly every meal who did not have the diseases associated with high cholesterol – were not obese and did not suffer from heart and artery diseases. The cases of Alzheiemer’s represented only about 5% of all Dementia patients. Dementia being a disturbance in the brain that could have many casues such as severe head injury.

    Alzheiemer’s disease is set to rise and with it, the costs to the NHS. The government’s solution to this is to remove their responsibility from the problem, removing Alzheimer’s victims from the balance sheet, rather than tackle head on the big pharmaceutical companies by investing in research for the casues and potential cure for Alzheimer’s.

    Remembering that the Conservative Government get’s over 50% of it’s funding from private investors, what would a cure mean to those private investors who currently profit from the prescription of anti-psychotic drugs ?

    Statin Drugs are costly and have serious side affects – Coconut Oil is a safe natural food.

    How many Alzheimer’s patients do you know who were or are still on – cholesterol reducing drugs like simvastatin or atorvastatin? Ho many of them were then prescribed anti-psychotic drugs? I know three people personally who were, all suffering from late onset Alzheimer’s, and who all led active and productive lives before contracting the disease.

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