As UKIP’s annual conference in Doncaster gets underway, Unite has accused the party of stunning hypocrisy over its failure to oppose a major trade deal which threatens to override Britain’s sovereign right to make decisions over the future of our healthcare.
The deal, known as TTIP, is being negotiated behind the closed doors of the European Commission, between EU bureaucrats and delegates from the United States.
It is the largest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated and threatens to make privatisation of the NHS irreversible by giving the profits of corporations precedence over national lawmakers. Secret courts would grant American multinationals, or any firm with American investors, the power to sue the government if it ever attempted to take privatised health services back into public ownership.
MEPs will vote on the final package once an agreement is reached but UKIP MEPs have failed to oppose the deal and one UKIP MEP Roger Helmer has even said: “We have no alternative but to support the deal.”
A poll, carried out by Survation, questioned over 2,600 voters across 13 marginal Conservative-held seats. Respondents were asked if health should be excluded from the deal and if David Cameron should use Britain’s veto.
Across all constituencies 68% said they opposed the inclusion of the NHS as part of the deal. Opposition was highest from those planning on voting for Labour or UKIP, 78% and 77% respectively, and just 23% of Conservative voters supported inclusion.’
Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said: “It’s no surprise that UKIP has failed to oppose a dangerous trade deal that lets Brussels override our sovereign right to determine the future of our health. It’s proof that UKIP are just disgruntled Tories that put the interests of big business ahead of the interests of working people.
“TTIP gives US companies taking over our health service the right to sue the British Government outside of British law and British courts. They will get the potential to be awarded billions of British tax-payers’ money, with no right of appeal. Yet Tory boys Nigel Farage and David Cameron say and do nothing to try to stop this deal going ahead.”
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
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.
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