EU Commission letter shatters NHS myths around TTIP
Ian Duncan MEP has today released a letter from Jean-Luc Demarty, the European Commission Director General for Trade, in which Mr Demarty makes clear that TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) ‘would not affect the UK or devolved governments’ sovereignty over how NHS services are provided, whether in Scotland or the rest of the UK’. Mr Demarty also states that ‘the net effect of the EU’s approach is that nothing in TTIP will lead to privatisation of the NHS’.
TTIP is the world’s largest free trade agreement, currently being negotiated between the United States and the European Union. The most recent negotiations took place in Washington in September and the net benefit of TTIP to the UK is estimated at 10 billion pounds. Mr Duncan wrote to Mr Demarty in response to numerous constituent letters regarding the perceived dangers to the NHS in terms of privatisation, if the EU and the United States were to sign the proposed free-trade agreement (TTIP). In his letter Mr Demarty also addresses concerns regarding the Investment protection and ISDS chapter of TTIP, negotiations on which are currently on hold whilst a public consultation process takes place. It has been alleged that in the event of a dispute between investors, tribunals would be held in private and that interested parties such as NGOs, would not be able to make submissions.
Mr Demarty writes:
‘The EU will make transparency the default mode for ISDS tribunals…there will be no secret tribunals under TTIP’ Mr Demarty also addresses concerns regarding food safety and the right of national Governments to regulate in the public interest, which can be found in the attached letter.'
Mr Duncan commented:
‘My mail-bag has been full of letters regarding TTIP, so I sought to find out exactly what the agreement proposes. As Mr Demarty’s letter sets out, TTIP will not lead to the privatisation of the NHS, nor hamper the ability of the UK and Scottish Governments to act in their national interest. Indeed it is projected that the EU would have an extra 70-120 billion euros at its disposal, every year, if TTIP is concluded. I would also stress that TTIP would be subject to a vote in the European Parliament and indeed MSPs in Holyrood will most likely have to vote to give effect to it. TTIP negotiations are still in the early stages but I hope the letter from Mr Demarty will reassure concerned citizens and counter some of the misleading comments from individuals, as reported in the press.'
Dr Ian Duncan is the Conservative MEP for Scotland. The letter to the Directorate for Trade is attached, as is the from response from Demarty. A TTIP Q and A is also attached. Link to Council Negotiating Mandate: