Introducing his revised NHS bill Lord Owen calls for transparency from Prime Minister David Cameron over the secret mandate for the EU-US Trade Negotiations. At present the press have only reported on trade issues but to date there seem to be no plans to exclude health care contracts from the agreement, opening up the possibility of all UK private health care being awarded to American health care companies. Such protection could make it impossible for a future Labour government to discontinue those contracts
In his article on the openDemocracy website introducing his revised NHS Bill, Lord Owen writes:
“Sources close to the mandate negotiations say that unlike CETA (the Canadian EU trade negotiations) there is at present no plan to exclude arrangements for health care and protection and in particular for the NHS in its different forms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Prime Minister writing in the Wall Street Journal on Monday made no mention of health nor the alarming prospect of investment protection being extended to the whole raft of private health contracts in the UK that American health care companies and consultancies expect to be awarded to them in the next few years.
Such protection could have the effect of health contracts being virtually retained in perpetuity with no democratic right for an incoming government to discontinue the contracts once their term had expired without being able to prove gross negligence and risking very heavy compensation payments. Ominously, the Prime Minister suggested that “everything must be on the table” in the negotiations.”
Under Labour Governments, David Owen served as Navy Minister, Health Minister and Foreign Secretary.
Read the full article on the openDemocracy website