TTIP threatens to lock in US power and influence over NHS

TTIP threatens to lock in US power and influence over NHS

26 November 2014

Speaking at a conference hosted by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) on the dangers of NHS privatisation (Wednesday 26 November) Gail Cartmail, Unite assistant general secretary, will call on David Cameron to make a clear commitment to use his veto in Europe to protect the NHS from the EU-US trade deal called TTIP.

A new study from independent think tank the New Economics Foundation (NEF), warns against further marketisation of the NHS. According to the study the majority of global evidence shows that markets fail to deliver cost-effective, high-quality healthcare. But Unite will warn that the inclusion of the NHS in the EU-US trade agreement called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership threatens to entrench US power and influence over the NHS and lock-in privatisation.

Unite assistant general secretary, Gail Cartmail said: “There is a massive public backlash against the inclusion of the NHS in a trade deal that will make privatisation irreversible. David Cameron must use his veto to get the NHS out of TTIP.

“The coalition are alone, all the political parties, including across the devolved nations support the NHS veto.  Our NHS has no place in a US trade deal but the Tories and the Lib Dems are working together to ensure the complete and irreversible privatisation of the NHS.”

The deal, known as TTIP, is being negotiated behind the closed doors, between the EU and the United States. It’s the biggest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated and threatens to make the sell-off of the NHS irreversible by giving the profits of corporations precedence over national lawmakers. TTIP would give US multinationals, or any firm with American investors, new rights to sue the UK government if it ever tried to take privatised health services back into public hands.


Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Twitter: @unitetheunion, Facebook: unitetheunion1,

Notes to editors

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

  • The New Economics Foundation (NEF) is an independent think-tank that specialises in innovative economic thinking.

  • The new study, The wrong medicine, will launch at an event on Wednesday 26 November at the King’s Fund, London. Confirmed speakers include Anna Coote (Head of Social Policy, NEF), David Hunter (Prof. of Health Policy and Management, University of Durham) and Gail Cartmail (Assistant General Secretary, Unite). Please e-mail Cam Ly ( for more information.