News Column

Trade Minister says EU-US deal will not harm NHS

September 2, 2014

Katie Allen

The government has rebutted accusations that a vast free trade deal being negotiated between the EU and the US will act as a cover to privatise the NHS, while also watering down food standards and banking regulations. The trade minister, Lord Livingston, argued that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could add as much as pounds 10bn to the UK economy a year.

The future of the NHS under TTIP has become a key concern within trade unions. Critics say the deal threatens to make the outsourcing of health services in Britain irreversible by allowing US multinationals, or any firm with American investors, to sue any future UK government that attempted to take privatised health services back into public ownership, since it would jeopardise their profits. But Livingston said the deal, which seeks to cut trade tariffs and simplify regulations, would not change anything for the NHS. "The NHS and how it chooses to operate will not be impacted by TTIP," he said. Katie Allen

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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