Last month, Frances O’Grady met Commissioner de Gucht at the World Economic Forum in Davos along with the leader of the European Trade Union Confederation, Bernadette Segol and other European trade union leaders, to discuss the
forthcoming Transatlantic Trade & Investment. The treaty threatens all Government decisions which may have an impact upon business and profits, holding them open to legal action and being forced to repeal laws, even those concerning health and safety, public health, environmental issues and provides censorship of Governments rights to make laws that, intentrionally or by accident; have any form of negative impact upon business.
One major arera of concern is the NHS and the ability of a future Government to repeal the legilsation passed in 2012 which in affect has privatised the NHS.
Speaking after meeting EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht about the Partnership (TTIP) in Davos, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“US healthcare companies should know that they have been put on notice. They should not expect the forthcoming EU-US trade deal to protect them from a future British government restoring NHS services currently run by private firms to the public sector.
The EU Trade Commissioner has assured me that the consultation exercise on foreign investors’ rights will now – as a result of union pressure – include the option of dumping the deeply undemocratic Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism. I left him in no doubt that unions and their campaign partners will be demanding its removal from the TTIP.
We must ensure that future governments are not bound to pay unlimited compensation to companies seeking to make a killing from the implementation of the Health and Social Care Act. Democratically elected governments must be free to do what voters decide, and not be frightened off by the prospect of secretive litigation.”
Earlier last month some 200 organisations wrote to European and American trade negotiators to raise concerns about the impact of the ISDS. If it remains a part of the trade deal, it would allow multi-national corporations to sue individual governments if they feel that public policy is contrary to the principles of free trade, and as a result they have lost out financially.
The European Commission consultation exercise on the TTIP will be launched on 1st March and is expected to last three months.
It is now clear that the future of the NHS is dependent upon the UK staying in the EU, for if the country was not part of the EU, the abaility of this countyry to deal with the extremes of the TTIP; would be gravely compromised.
Source: TUC / Unionsafety