Covert US-EU Trade Deal Could Make NHS Privatization Irreversible – Trade Unions

Staff Writer | RT News | September 10, 2014

A group of high-profile trade unions have backed a growing campaign opposed to a new transatlantic trade deal critics claim will make the privatization of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) irreversible.  Three of the UK’s largest unions have tendered motions to the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Liverpool, outlining their opposition to the cross-border agreement currently being negotiated by EU bureaucrats and US delegates.  While the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the largest bilateral trade deal ever brokered, it is currently being developed behind closed doors.

Critics caution it threatens to culminate in the permanent privatization of NHS services by prioritizing profit-wielding corporate firms over domestic lawmakers. Once finalised, UK union Unite warns the deal would pave the way for US corporations, or any firm affiliated with American investors, to sue the British government if it ever embarked on an effort to place privatized health services back under public ownership. Such legal proceedings would be conducted in a secret court setting, the union says.

Once a final agreement is reached, MPs are set to vote on the deal.  Speaking at the TUC in Liverpool on Wednesday, Unite Assistant General Secretary Gail Cartmail urged congress delegates to oppose the TTIP and rally support amongst people in the UK to demand Prime Minister David Cameron keep Britain’s health services out of the TTIP agreement.  Reflecting on the danger of the TTIP, Cartmail said, “It is clear this government thought they could do this deal in secret – a deal that would mean the irreversible sell-off of our NHS to America.”...