Back in 2014, David Cameron promised us all that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being negotiated between the European Union and the USA would not affect the National Health Service.
“I do not believe that our national health service is under threat … There are many parts of international co-operation and trade from which our national health service can be a huge beneficiary. For instance, we lead the world in sequencing people’s DNA and building up a vast databank, so that is a huge opportunity, and some of the leaders of our best hospitals are talking to new cities that are being built in China about how to establish health services. We should not be frightened of our NHS being a great British success story, parts of which can be exported to the rest of the world. We need to ensure that the TTIP and other such things make that possible.”
But Michael Bowsher QC, a former chair of the Bar Council’s EU law committee, revealed last month that the deal poses “a real and serious risk” to future UK government decision making regarding the NHS:
“We consider that the solution to the problems TTIP poses to the NHS – and which is likely to provide the greatest protection – is for the NHS to be excluded from the agreement by way of a blanket exception contained within the main text of TTIP,” Bowsher said.”
And if you want the opinion of the Conservative Government’s current Health secretary…
Today, Jeremy Hunt said leaving the EU altogether would push the NHS into budget cuts, falling standards and an exodus of staff. But then, he is already personally responsible for all three of those phenomena.
So who cares what he thinks?
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