Search

Camden hustings: Privatisation of NHS a key battleground in European elections

PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 May 2014

MEP candidate Lucy Anderson (Labour), chair of Camden Keep our NHS Public Candy Unwin, MEP candidate Caroline Allen (Greens) and MEP candidate Louise Irvine (NHA). Picture: Nigel Sutton

MEP candidate Lucy Anderson (Labour), chair of Camden Keep our NHS Public Candy Unwin, MEP candidate Caroline Allen (Greens) and MEP candidate Louise Irvine (NHA). Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The fight to secure the future of the NHS and stop privatisation is being seen as a key battleground for MEP candidates as voters get ready to head to the polls.

In a sign of the growing importance of the EU in domestic politics, candidates from the Labour Party, the Green Party and the new National Health Action Party (NHA) standing in the European elections on May 22 have described the vote as “vital to the future of a public health service”.

Several have attempted to raise awareness of an EU/US free trade agreement being negotiated between Brussels and Washington – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Proponents claim its aim is to remove trade barriers in a number of economic sectors to make it easier to buy and sell goods and services between the two continents.

An audience listening to MEP candidates at the London Irish Centre, Camden Square, heard, however, that TTIP would allow the NHS to be “carved open” by US private healthcare giants.

The landmark trade agreement would allow transatlantic companies to bid for NHS contracts and sue the government should its actions affect profit.

Louise Irvine, standing for the NHA, said: “If TTIP does go through then the NHS would be locked into privatisation.

“Even if the British public changed government and wanted to undo the damage done, they couldn’t.

“The EU regulates issues around our medicines, food labelling and doctors.

“All are influenced by the EU and mean the European elections are very relevant for those who care about our healthcare system.”

Defending the free trade agreement, the Department of Health said if passed it had the potential to benefit patients “through promoting collaboration across the pharmaceutical and life science sectors”.

But Caroline Allen, London MEP candidate from the Green Party, disagreed, saying: “We want Europe to be a Europe for people, not for corporations.”

Lucy Anderson, London MEP candidate for the Labour Party, added: “My main fear is that big US companies will be given more access to our NHS services – taking it out of our control.”

The Greens, NHA and Labour have all called for the NHS to be protected from the TTIP agreement.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Hampstead conservationists fear a half-acre portion of the Heath could get built on if it falls into the wrong hands at a controversial auction on Monday.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Barnet Council’s budget gap could rise to an estimated £62million by March 2024 if action is not taken, the town hall heard on Monday.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Two teenage moped riders from Maida Vale have been jailed for life after murdering charity youth worker Abdul Samad during a violent robbery spree.

Friday, June 15, 2018

This year’s Hampstead Summer Festival will again feature the “Picture the Heath” painting competition.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A paramedic from West Hampstead received a special award after heroically saving 30 people from a fire.

Friday, June 15, 2018

An exhibition celebrating Camden’s connections to the women’s suffrage movement opened last night at Holborn Local Studies and Archive Centre in Theobalds Road.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Potentially life-saving breast cancer screening check-ups for women in Camden have been delayed due to a shortage of specialist mammographers to carry out the service.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Wembley Sailing Club is hosting a Push the Boat Out event on Sunday May 20, where those interested in taking up the sport are invited to experience the club in action.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now