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Unite: 'Trojan horse' TTIP could ban a nationalised NHS

BRITAIN’S powerful Unite union stepped up the fight yesterday on the corporate “Trojan horse” free trade deal that threatens to outlaw a nationalised NHS.

The union has sent a dossier to all Britain’s MEPs that exposes the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

It urges them to block the free trade deal “if the European Parliament is to have any legitimacy” in the eyes of the public.

TTIP would allow corporations to sue governments if they resorted to “uncompetitive” policies that hit profits — including deciding that public services should be in public hands.

“Contrary to the campaign of spin and disinformation coming from the European Commission and our own Tory government, TTIP could make the privatisation of health services irreversible,” warned Unite general secretary Len McCluskey.

With billions in NHS contracts being offered to the private sector since the Con-Dems’ 2012 Health and Social Care Act, future governments could face crippling court action by US firms.

MEPs will have a vote when full details are finally revealed following months of secret negotiations between bureaucrats and corporate bigwigs.

Anti-poverty charity War on Want is among NGOs campaigning against the deal.

Executive director John Hilary said TTIP was aimed at “removing so-called barriers which restrict potential profits made by transnational corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The investor state dispute settlement, which lets firms sue governments over lost profits, is a Trojan horse for multinational corporations to slash EU standards and regulations.”

Detail of the negotiations between corporate representatives and unelected Brussels officials have been kept tightly secret.

But business lobbyists want “barriers” to profits removed in public services, workers’ rights, food safety, banking and environmental regulations as well as privacy rules.

Mr McCluskey said TTIP was “dangerous” and urged MEPs to respond to voters’ wishes, “not the interests of Wall Street.”

He said: “When people learn about TTIP they get angry and expect David Cameron to use his veto to protect the NHS.

“MEPs must recognise that it is their job to reflect this anger.”

Last week Britain’s Trade and Investment Minister Lord Livingston admitted that the NHS was not exempt from TTIP.


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