Search

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

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.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Sasha Gordon

A star pupil from a school in Hampstead Garden Suburb has been dubbed Britain’s brightest girl after making it to the final of a television series featuring child geniuses.

14:43
Camden Lock

It is cheaper to live in Madrid and commute to London than it is to rent a flat in Camden Town and work in Liverpool Street, according to new figures.

10:28
Highgate police officer Pc Allan Greig, right, with master locksmith Jim Caldwell of William Channon Locksmiths, left, and neighbourhood watch co-ordinator Christine Nickles. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Vigilant residents have teamed up with police to clamp down on burglaries in response to a spike in the crimes in a cluster of Highgate streets.

Yesterday, 14:54
Winner Jack Reynolds with Radio 1 presenter Cel Spellman. Picture: BAFTA/Jamie Simonds

A Highgate schoolboy has won a prestigious Bafta award for designing a computer game.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder