Caroline Lucas: Green MP for Brighton Pavilion
David Owen gave a speech in which he claimed that Britain needs to leave the EU to protect the our Health Service. I have great respect for his work on the NHS but I disagree with Owen about leaving the EU – which will not remove the real threat to our health service. The thrust of his argument is that our health service is under threat from the European Union because of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – a mammoth trade deal being negotiated between the EU and the USA. TTIP is indeed dreadful and must be opposed by all of us fighting for our NHS but leaving the EU doesn’t rid us of the threat of damaging trade deals.
Just imagine for a second that we did exit the EU- leaving the Tories in charge of negotiating our trade deals with the rest of the world. The UK has, in the past, signed a number of bilateral deals that include the dreaded investor state dispute mechanism (ISDS) which allows companies to sue states for risking their ‘future profits’ – and which threatens our health service. Indeed the Tory Government is a major driving force for TTIP – and David Cameron is one of the deal’s top cheerleaders.
If we left the EU, then we could be left with the Government negotiating trade deals with the rest of the world. What then? With the Tories still in charge, we could then expect the roll out of multiple TTIPs on steroids as Britain negotiated trade deals with countries across the world. Each of these deals could include an ISDS – thus potentially allowing companies from to sue our Government for protecting public services. That doesn’t sound like safety for our NHS to me…
For the full article go to Huffington Postby