Clauses in the draft EU/US trade deal – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – that would allow big corporations to sue the UK government must be scrapped or the draft treaty could end up harming the NHS, says UNISON.
UNISON is concerned that the controversial Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause remains very much part of the draft treaty.
It is this element of the treaty that could allow the world’s huge corporations to sue any future UK government that sought to limit the involvement of the private sector in the NHS or local schools.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said : “Anyone who cares about the NHS should be worried about what TTIP might mean for its future.
“This isn’t unions scaremongering, we’re simply trying to shine a spotlight on the lengthy negotiations around the draft treaty which have been going on for months behind closed doors.
“If ISDS is not written out of the draft treaty, it opens up the possibility that any multinational unhappy with a UK government that decided to halt the current privatisation trend could sue ministers – a move that could end up costing UK taxpayers dearly.
“There are already perfect adequate rules in place to protect the rights of investors, there is no need to amend the trading climate further still in favour of the world’s big firms.
“Europe’s governments must strike out the ISDS clause and protect public services from those who care more about big profits than they do about patient care.”