‘David Cameron’s pledge at the G20 to fast-track a controversial EU-US trade deal has infuriated trade unionists and campaigners, who fear the permanent privatization of the NHS and erosion of Britain’s food standards.
Speaking at the summit in Brisbane over the weekend, Cameron said claims that TTIP would result in a National Health Service sell-off were “bogus nonsense.”
Signaling his intention to take on Britain’s trade unionists and others who oppose TTIP, the prime minister told G20 delegates he intends to fire “rocket boosters” under the EU-US trade agreement – a landmark deal he stresses that could bolster the British economy by £10 billion.
“It is time to take on some of the opponents of this deal and expose the arguments against it,” he said. “This is good for Britain – good for growth and British families.”
Speaking to crowds gathered at the summit, Cameron said arguments posed by UK trade unionists and campaigners against the trade deal were “weak.”
Regarding a potential NHS sell-off, the prime minister emphasized the health service was “in the public sector” and would remain so. “There is no direct threat to the NHS from TTIP,” he insisted.
He also said the cross-border deal would create employment, growth and investment by allowing Britain to trade more freely with America.
By contrast, trade unionists and campaigners opposed to the deal say their arguments against it are far from weak. They warn the EU-US trade agreement will undermine food safety standards and regulations, paving the way for British shops to stock sub-standard and genetically modified American produce.
Of equal concern is the suggestion that the free trade agreement will open up the nation’s public services to a private sector sell-off. This would allow multinational firms to purchase state assets and ultimately exploit them for profit, trade unionists and anti-TTIP campaigners argue.’