MP told to call for TTIP veto

ALMOST 500 Woking families are calling on Jonathan Lord MP to press the Prime Minister to use his veto to get the NHS out of an EU trade deal that will lead to the ‘irreversible privatisation of the service’.

Households have raised protest boards outside their homes with the message to get the ‘NHS out of  TTIP’ (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership).

Spearheaded by the People’s NHS, the community run campaign says the trade deal is being negotiated behind closed doors between EU bureaucrats and US delegates, and is the largest bi-lateral deal ever negotiated.

They say it threatens to make the ongoing privatisation of the health service irreversible by giving private corporations precedence over national lawmakers.

A statement said: “The TTIP could grant American multinationals – or any firm that has US investors – the power to sue the Government if it ever attempted to take privatised health services back into public ownership.”

Woking is the latest constituency to join the mass movement, which has seen more than 120,000 collective actions by residents across the UK. Conservative MP Mr Lord is just one of many cabinet members campaigners are focusing on.

Spokesman for the People’s NHS, Norman John, said: “Jonathan Lord has a unique opportunity to defend our NHS from an EU trade deal that means the irreversible sell-off of the NHS.

“He should listen to his constituents and insist that his colleagues, Baron Maude and David Cam-eron, use Britain’s veto to defend our NHS from this dangerous deal. Thousands of households have taken part in this unprecedented nationwide movement. Now voters in Jonathan Lord’s constituency are demanding act-ion to get the NHS out of TTIP.

“That’s why we expect him to act. The Conservative Government does not have a mandate to allow the sell-off of the NHS to become permanent.”

Mr Lord, however, told the News & Mail that this has been blown out of proportion. He said the TTIP deal – which has been under discussion for at least eight months and is still in negotiation – includes an ‘anti confiscation’ clause to protect the private sector.

He said: “It means none of the 28 EU governments can strip private health companies for nationalisation without compensation.”

He added that the benefits of the TTIP are many, saying: “The plus side of the TTIP is just fantastic. It will be a huge step forward for trade between the EU and American and will bring growth, jobs and investment to the UK.

“We already have private companies within the NHS and nothing will really change. Everyone wants the service there for when we need it, whether it’s private or not.”

Euro MP Catherine Bearder emphasised the value of the NHS and told the News & Mail: “I’ve sought assurances from the EU Commissioner responsible that TTIP will not lead to privatisation of the NHS. It will remain entirely up to the UK Government whether or not health services should be made public or private.

“The NHS is our most treasured public service and Lib Dems will fight to ensure it remains well funded and in public hands.”

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