Nurses demonstrate against proposals to offer private companies more work in the NHS. ‘We consider the solution to the problems TTIP poses is for the NHS to be excluded from the agreement, by way of a blanket exception,’ said Michael Bowsher QC [Image: Chris Ison/PA Archive/PA Photos].

It’s interesting that the Graun thinks TTIP is likely to be agreed this year, when other sources have said this is unlikely until around 2019/20. Are we being misled – or at least is this a deliberate attempt to create confusion?

Secondly, the Conservative Government has dismissed the idea that TTIP poses a threat to the possible re-nationalisation of the NHS in England as “irresponsible and false” – but Tory aims are not those of the protesters.

Let’s bear in mind that Conservatives have lied time and again about their changes to our National Health Service. There is no reason to believe they have turned over a new leaf now.

And then there’s the issue about whether the NHS should be the only organisation excluded from TTIP. Why should it be, just because issues around our health service have been the most commonly paraded in public?

In its current form, TTIP is a threat to all publicly-funded services, as long as it is possible for a UK government to privatise them.

TTIP would squeeze workers’ rights into whatever happens to be the lowest common denominator between the US and EU, meaning many of the rights for which our forerunners campaigned long and hard will disappear overnight.

And it would ensure a vertiginous fall in the quality of the goods that are sold to us – for the same reason; they would only need to meet the lowest common quality standard.

Does anybody remember an article from a few days ago, in which This Blog reported that a New Zealand MP had been hit in the face with a rubber penis, thrown by a woman who accused him of raping her country of its sovereignty?

Perhaps the UK’s MPs and MEPs need to start asking themselves whether they really want a big rubber sex aid thrown in their own faces.

The controversial transatlantic trade deal set to be agreed this year would mean that privatisation of elements of the NHS could be made irreversible for future governments wanting to restore services to public hands, according to a new legal analysis.

The legal advice was prepared by one of the UK’s leading QCs on European law for the Unite trade union, which will reveal on Monday that it has been holding talks with the government about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between Europe and the US.

Unite believes the government has been keeping Britain in the dark over the impact of the deal and argues the NHS should be excluded from the trade deal. The government dismissed the idea that TTIP poses a threat as “irresponsible and false”.

Source: TTIP deal poses ‘real and serious risk’ to NHS, says leading QC | Business | The Guardian

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