Transatlantic trade deal will leave NHS open to privatisation

KRISTY Dorsey should be congratulated for exposing what is happening in the negotiations over TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) between the US and the EU (“Public kept in the dark over trade deal that affects us all”, Business).

Your readers may remember the battle some years ago over MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment) in which much the same issues were involved, namely restricting the ability of nation states to protect themselves against the demands of transnational companies and globalised finance for ever greater privatisation of public services, particularly health services.

To its credit, the Scottish Government has reaffirmed its commitment to the NHS and to public services in general, but what TTIP represents is a new attempt to open up all state services to American-style privatisation, where health provision is seen as a “profit centre” and health as a commodity.

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The Scottish Government should oppose TTIP as it stands, and in the event of a Yes vote in the independence referendum, should fight its corner in Europe to protect all public services assets from the threat of transnational corporate interests.

In any negotiations with the EU over continuing Scottish membership, this needs to be a red line which cannot be crossed. The Scottish public needs to be told not just what is being done now but what will be done in future to safeguard the NHS and other public services in Scotland from privatising corporate predators.

Randolph Murray, Rannoch