The following letter was published today in the York Press:
ON JUNE 14, European Commission member states gave the green light to start trade and investment talks with the United States.
When negotiations are complete, this EU-US agreement would be the biggest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated.
The EU and the US have the largest bilateral trade relationship and enjoy the most integrated economic relationship in the world. However, the deal is only likely to deliver minimal economic benefit.
What is happening is the provision of a framework for increased privatisation, investor protection, and a possible new era of finance in which tolls replace lending.
Why do people in York need to be concerned? While David Cameron is urging the European Commission to conclude this secretive trade deal, it could destroy the NHS and entrust our health to American corporations.
No one stands to gain from this so-called free-trade deal, except the transnational corporations and financiers who back it.
Healthcare has been specifically mentioned as a form of trade to be included in the “harmonising regulation” of the agreement, which aims to prevent “future trade barriers” in keeping with the demands of corporations.
Including the NHS in the deal will turn a globally respected universal health service into a cash cow for investors. Once such a trade deal has been agreed, the resulting privatisation will be irreversible.
On behalf of Defend Our NHS York, I encourage the citizens of York to contact their MP and MEP to stop this monstrous attack on our NHS.