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Experts warn that EU trade treaty with US puts NHS at risk

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 25 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5880
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

US corporations would use a “highly secretive” new trade deal with Europe to sue future UK governments that ran the NHS against the corporations’ interests, experts have warned. John Hilary, director of War on Want, urged MPs and the public to campaign against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which he described as undemocratic and “deadly toxic.”

Negotiations are under way between the United States and the European Union over what would become the world’s biggest trade deal if successfully concluded. But Hilary said that the deal would give foreign investors “special privileges” that endangered vital public services, including the NHS, while key documentation would stay inaccessible to scrutiny under a 30 year ban.

“Everybody is agreed it is perfectly possible that if a future UK government wanted to take back the NHS into public hands it could be clobbered by any number of US corporations suing them over a loss of profits,” he said.

The TTIP’s potential impact was debated in London on 23 September in a lecture at the Royal Society of Medicine hosted by RSM Global Health, Medact, and the UK Faculty of Public Health. The …

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