Keynsham NHS campaigners call for action from MP on TTIP

Published on: 04 Mar 2016

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March 2016

Campaigners concerned at the effects a new trade deal will have on the future of the NHS have redoubled their efforts to convince MP Jacob Rees-Mogg to back their cause.

Members of the People’s NHS, a group set up to oppose privatisation of the national health service, gathered at the North East Somerset MP’s office in Keynsham on February 24 to raise their fears over the impact of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between Europe and the US.

The deal aims to reduce barriers for US and EU companies wanting to trade in each other’s markets – but campaigners say they fear it could lead to companies that invest in the health service suing the Government in future if it wanted to take back services into the public sector.

The local People’s NHS group delivered a copy of legal advice prepared for the Unite union by a leading expert on European law, Michael Bowsher QC, which said the deal “poses a real and serious threat to UKG [UK government] decision-making in respect of the NHS”.

The solution would be for the NHS to be “excluded from the agreement”, the document says.

Zarria Phillips, local resident and spokesperson said: “Alarming legal advice shows that Britain’s sovereignty over the NHS is being sold down the river by faceless EU bureaucrats to Wall Street. Our supposed Eurosceptic MP is doing nothing to defend our local health services from this attack.”

She added: “In light of this new legal advice highlighting a real and serious risk to the NHS, It is now time for action. Our NHS is at risk of an irreversible sell-off.

“Rees-Mogg must now protest to David Cameron in the strongest terms because the people of Keynsham do not believe it is right for our NHS to be put at risk of irreversible privatisation.“

Mr Rees-Mogg was not available for comment but has previously stated the deal was no threat to the NHS.

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