TTIP is no threat to the NHS, and nor is the EU

I can’t claim I know much about TTIP. I know it’s a huge trade deal with america, and much is currently being said about it. It’s rules apparently state that a government body cannot get in the way of business, so some people think it’s a threat to the NHS. Outers are using the issue to scare people into voting to leave the EU. Of course, if it was true, I would be concerned too: the NHS is an issue which outranks all others, and if I thought our continued membership of the EU threatened it, I’d vote out. But it doesn’t. I just found this article on Labour list, explaining that health is one of the areas exempt from TTIP.

[quote=”Rachel Reeves”]As a US-EU joint declaration last month made clear, TTIP will not ”prevent governments, at any level, from providing or supporting services in areas such as water, education, health, and social services.” EU officials have been at pains to ensure that health services will not be covered by the deal. Cecilia Malmstrom, the Swede who runs the EU’s trade policy, has categorically said that ”health services will not be affected in any way by TTIP.”[/quote]

Thus the outers are using an issue we all care about to fool people into leaving the EU. It’s baffling when you think about it. Why would the EU suddenly want to destroy the NHS, when in the past they have supported it? And why would people who ordinarily want the NHS privatised such a Boris Johnson suddenly want to defend it? It’s a sickeningly cynical ploy on behalf of the outers: they are trying to play on people’s fears, pretending to champion a national institution at the very moment that, according to this Guardian article, the tories have embarked on a ”conscious strategy to run the service down to a point where privatisation can be sold to the public as a way of improving things.” TTIP is no threat to the NHS, and nor is the EU. For the outers to say it is, to pretend to suddenly care about something most of them want broken up, perfectly demonstrates the type of people we are dealing with. While I have a few concerns about TTIP, and, as explained here, one cannot be absolutely sure what will be effected until everything is worked out, in all probability the NHS will be safeguarded. For the outers to use an issue they wouldn’t ordinarily care about to try to fool people into siding with them, is utterly contemptible.

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