This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
A NEW clause in the Trade Bill supposedly protecting the NHS was dismissed as worthless today by campaigners, who urged MPs to prevent a “power grab” by corporations.
The Commons held a crucial vote on the amendment, which would supposedly safeguard the health service in future trade deals, after the Morning Star went to press.
A more comprehensive amendment to protect the NHS had been tabled in the House of Lords but was withdrawn by Labour’s Baroness Thornton after the government pledged to make compromise proposals.
In January, Conservative MPs voted against a similar amendment, causing campaign group We Own It to brand them “disgraceful.”
The group warned today that the Tory government’s protection for the NHS is “not worth the paper it’s written on.”
The amendment states that future trade agreements “must be consistent with maintaining UK publicly funded clinical healthcare services.”
We Own It campaigners argued that this would offer little protection for the NHS.
They pointed out that the amendment only covers “clinical healthcare services,” rather than the whole of the NHS, and merely seeks to maintain “public funding” of the service, rather than public ownership.
Failure to protect the NHS in law could lead to medicines becoming more expensive, the rights of US healthcare companies to access the NHS being enshrined in international treaties and privatisation being “locked in,” the group warns.
We Own It campaigns officer Johnbosco Nwogbo said: “The government’s amendment falls well short of what is needed and frankly it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
“Our NHS is already suffering under years of privatisation, with as much as 26 per cent of the NHS budget being spent on the private and independent sector.
“So maintaining publicly funded healthcare services won’t stop the private healthcare sector in the US or any other country getting their hands on huge chunks of our precious health service.
“What’s needed is to ensure the NHS remains publicly funded, but also that it remains publicly owned – and for protections on ownership to be written into the legislation.”
More than 300,000 people have signed a We Own It petition calling on the Lords to exempt the NHS from trade deals, while over 20,000 people have written to MPs urging them to vote to protect the NHS.
Three-quarters of the public want the NHS to have explicit protection from trade deals, a Survation poll suggests.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.